The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Division of Law Enforcement has the statutory responsibility for ensuring that the placement of waterway markers within state waters adhere to all state and federal requirements (F.S. 327.41) . Waterway marker permits and guidance is obtained through the Boating and Waterways Section. The Section takes pride in being the "One-stop Shop" for all waterway management issues that include but are not limited to boating safety and education, boating access, and derelict vessels.
Consistency and uniformity of waterway markers correlates with the Section's goal in providing a safe and enjoyable boating experience. It is important the boat operator observe similar marking systems throughout our waterways; this consistency eliminates confusion, increases compliance, and minimizes the risk of accidents.
The Section is also charged with insuring that regulatory markers are only posted for specific purposes as defined in law (F.A.C. 68D-23.101). This is important to reduce sign proliferation, confusion, and inconsistency. For example: regulatory markers noticing boating restricted areas are authorized only for the purposes of protecting human life and limb, vessel traffic safety and maritime property, and manatees (F.S. 327.60). An example of an illegal marker would include: those not permitted by this Office, markers not adhering to the United States Aids to Navigation System (33 C.F.R. part 62), markers not conforming to the Uniform State Waterway Marking System (33 C.F.R. subpart 66.10), markers posted for reasons other than above. The posting of an illegal marker is a criminal offense (F.S. 327.41).
For municipalities, counties, or other governmental entities to place any safety, regulatory, informational, and/or navigation marker in, on, or over the waters or shores of the state, must make application for a permit to the Office of Boating and Waterways within the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (F.S. 327.40). A local government's ability to regulate the waterway for public safety is defined by law (F.S. 327.46 and F.A.C. 68D-21).
To ensure that municipalities, counties, or other governmental entities understand the responsibility associated with the placement of uniform waterway markers and they meet the required criteria in F.A.C. 68D-23.104 and F.A.C. 68D-23.105. Applications for placement of uniform waterway markers are available at this link.
In some cases, markings for safety or navigation purposes require permits from other state or federal agencies. It would be suggested that you contact our office, 850-488-5600 or email Waterway.Management@MyFWC.com for guidance in these instances.