To Whom It May Concern,

Recently my husband and I joined your organization. We have an affiliation with the Citizens for Florida Waterways organization in Brevard County and know many of the members over there. As residents of Punta Gorda, we live on the water and love to boat and are concerned about the recent FWC regulations. We thought you would find it interesting that we were published in this month's (October) issue of Powerboat Magazine on Page 16 under Just the Facts. Our article was printed as follows:

The Save the Manatee Club teamed with other environmental groups and sued the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for not protecting the manatees. The Commission caved in to the lawsuit and is about to enact very strict boating regulations on Florida waterways. Make no mistake, these regulations do not necessarily protect the manatee, but they do satisfy the lawsuit - for now.

In Charlotte County new restrictive regulations in the name of manatee protection will be implemented in the Turtle Bay, Peace River, and areas of the Lemon Bay.

In Turtle Bay there will be two idle speed zones and an overall 25 MPH speed limit. This regulation will be implemented regardless of the fact that no manatee has ever been killed in Turtle Bay from a watercraft accident.

The new regulations are unfair, unjustified, and without merit. Boaters are losing their rights in the name of manatee protection, but more restrictions do not equal better protection for manatees. One has to ask; "What is the hidden agenda?" and "What's next?" Fellow boaters, please get involved now - the next regulation may impact you!

John Matullo [and Gail Frazier]

The editor noted the following:

"According to a story in the July 25 Daytona Beach News Journal: "Calling the interpretation of a manatee protection settlement they signed last year illegal, federal officials have asked a federal judge to allow them to abandon their deal with the environmentalist and follow their own time line in coming up with manatee protection measures." Apparently, the game is still far from over. - Ed."


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