As I travel around the state with meetings,
one question I am asked more than any other is "what can I do to
help". At first I thought everyone should know what they needed to
do, but I found out that I was very wrong. The first thing I found is
that the average boater/fisherman does not know or understand what is
happening to their rights and what is driving these actions. As I start
to tell them, the thing I hear most is "they can't do that".
Well, they can, they are, and they have. The only thing between your water
access rights and no rights is Standing Watch.
Standing Watch was formed in 2000 as a boaters’ coalition to represent
boaters’ rights all over the state. We now represent over 20,000
boaters in the state of Florida and we are growing. As with any organization
we have to continue that growth to be effective whether working in Tallahassee
on legislation, on legal challenges, or wherever the struggle takes us.
It is not just the number of members we can sign up but the continued
financial support we get that allows us to carry on this fight for your
rights. For Standing Watch to meet the challenge of defending your rights
we need to have new members every day and continuous donations to the
legal fund. Sadly a lot of people feel they can just pay a $25.00 membership
fee and everything will be taken care of for them. That, unfortunately,
is not the case. That fee barely covers the cost of the newsletter to
keep you informed and up to date as to what’s being done to protect
your rights. The person that asks the question "what can I do?"
should be reaching out to friends and neighbors to bring them up to date
and get their support also. In today's world of e-mail and web sites each
of you should be able to pass on Standing Watch to a lot of people.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP STANDING WATCH SUCCEED?
• Join Standing Watch at the highest level you can.
• Donate to the Standing Watch Legal Fund.
• Tell / Email your friends and neighbors about Standing Watch.
• Contact your Elected Officials, inform them on the issues and
let them know you want to keep your Boating Rights.
• Get involved with your Local Chapter or start a new one in your
• Become a Local Membership Director and help us a hour or two a
• If you belong to a Club or an Association have us speak at a meeting*.
• If you work in a Marine-related industry inform your company about
becoming a Standing Watch - Corporate Alliance Partner*.
* For more information contact Chris Smith at [email protected]
E-mail is our fastest way to inform you of things. Please
make sure we have your correct email address.
Send to: [email protected]
Subject Line: New Address
Message: Please include your name and member number
What Have We Done For You!
• Participated as panelist in Governor Bush’s Manatee Summit
• Addressed the Governor and Cabinet successfully on behalf of the
City of Jacksonville’s request for a public boat ramp in Duval County.
• Participated in the aerial survey conducted by the Florida Marine
Research Institute resulting in a record min. observed population of 3,276
• Attended and addressed FFWCC meeting in Key Largo
in support of CCA petition to down-list the manatee from "endangered"
to "threatened" and asked the Commissioners to support proposed
legislation being drafted by Representative Lindsay Harrington.
• Addressed U.S. Fish & Wildlife Staff at numerous meetings
• Addressed Florida Fish & Wildlife staff at numerous meetings
• Attended FFWCC Commission meeting in Tallahassee and addressed
issues on behalf of Brevard County members.
• Participated in lawsuit settlement negotiations with plaintiff
organizations, cabinet staff and FFWCC staff.
• Participated in Boating Legislative Days in Tallahassee and co-sponsored
legislative reception on 20th floor of the Capitol.
• Attended Boating Advisory Council meetings to address member concerns
with statewide panel of boating interests, law enforcement and agency
• Attended City and County Commission meetings throughout Florida
in order to educate local elected representatives to the issue of water
access, and over-regulation of our aquatic resources.
• Formed "Boating Coalition" with the Marine Industries
Association of Florida (MIAF), the Florida Marine Contractor’s Association
(FMCA), the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), the Florida Council
of Yacht Clubs (FCYC), the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association
(NMMA), and Organized Fishermen of Florida and met with Governor Bush
along with Boating Coalition members to address water access concerns.
• Hired Tallahassee Lobbyist Bonnie Basham.
• Collected $30,000 for the auditory manatee avoidance technology
research conducted by Drs Edmund Gerstein & Joe Blue.
• Participated in the necropsy program at the FMRI Pathobiology
lab in St. Petersburg.
• Opened first County Chapters of Standing Watch in Volusia and
Lee Counties as well as a Central Florida Chapter that included Marion,
Lake, Orange, and Citrus counties.
2002 IN PROGRESS
• We worked with Representative Lindsay Harrington
(R – Punta Gorda) to develop language in his bill to modify Florida
Statute 370.12. This statute delegates the legislative authority to the
FFWCC to develop rules for manatee protection. The intent of the bill
is to clarify legislative intent, demand more accurate science, and provide
a balanced committee of regional stake-holders that will participate in
the drafting of any new regulation
• We have participated in 11 Boat & Fishing Shows, and have
- two on the calendar over the next month
• Legislative Days were held the 19th & 20th of February in
Tallahassee. We visited legislators and agency heads to address our concerns
on the resource management issues that concern us all
• February 22nd, we were invited to Wisconsin to participate in
an international "Think Tank" on water related recreational
• Counties that have immediate needs with respect to impending regulatory
programs include Volusia, Duval, Lee, Charlotte, and Sarasota. We will
be working closely with members and chapter delegates to bring positive
input to these programs
• We participated with "Sensible Government for Naples"
concerning a charter amendment to the City of Naples. This was a water
access issue, as well as a common sense approach to pro-active restoration
of damaged mangrove habitat We were proud to help Naples residents defend
their rights of access while preserving their environment
• The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has announced that they are
imposing Federal regulations in Brevard County based upon the data that
we are challenging in our Administrative Challenge to the State regulatory
initiatives in that area. We expect a busy meeting schedule, and possible
further legal action
• We are participating in the "Manatee Population Ecology and
Management Workshop" in Gainesville. At the table with us will be
staff members from the State and Federal agencies, environmental representatives,
Cabinet representatives, University level educators, and representatives
from the CCA and the Marine Industries Association of Florida.
• We have educated many legislators and aides on the issues of water
access, economic impact, and how the current regulatory programs are not
based in sound science. We have given the boaters of the State a platform
from which they will be heard in the upcoming session, and the elections
P.O. Box 296, Estero, FL 33928 E-mail
Standing Watch Call Standing Watch
Toll Free 1-866-263-5015 or in office 239-425-2504 ext 293
Copyright © 2001 by Standing Watch. All rights reserved.
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