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FWC takes next step in amending boating rules for Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers

News Release

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Media contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), at its Sept. 3 meeting in Fort Lauderdale, approved draft revisions affecting boating-restricted areas on the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers so the agency can take the next step in finalizing them.

The amendment to Florida Administrative Code 68D-24.020 would remove flood zone restrictions on two remote stretches of the lower Suwannee River, divide the Santa Fe River into four independent flood zones, incorporate changes to federal gauge datum and update maps to reflect changes in the restricted areas.

The change would deregulate approximately 10 miles of remote, uninhabited stretches of the lower Suwannee River, normally a boating-restricted area activated during high-water events. It is expected to improve the boating experience while maintaining safety in the area.

After receiving requests to reconsider the current regulation, FWC staff held three public meetings prior to the Commission meeting and received significant public support for the proposed changes.

Staff will now file a Notice of Proposed Rule and hold a final public hearing in November 2015, if such a hearing is requested. 

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