North East Chapter of Standing Watch

A lot going on.

Major issues for Duval County as part of the NE Chapter, see below.

Next meeting for North East Standing Watch is January 22, 2003 at 7:00 PM at the Florida Tackle and Gun Club.

Jacksonville Boat Show is February 6th thru 9th. We will have our Standing Watch booth. We will be signing up volunteers at the next meeting. With the national publicly and additional restrictions coming we can expect expanded interest.

The Good:
The Save the Manatee Club and their co-conspirators have been getting resistance from the State regulators who have real facts and are not now buying into the fabrications put forth by the Club. Some Federal Fish and Wildlife personal are pushing back as well.

The SMC suit against the State is somewhat in limbo with a change in Judges and the SMC pressing on the Federal suit.

City of Jax has all permits for the Goodby's ramp. (See Below)

Dredging for Goodby's creek is in phase I and moving forward.

No manatee deaths in Duval since July

Some if not most of the 10 boat/barge deaths in the first 6 months can be traced to major channel dredging and bridge construction.

The Last spike up of manatee deaths (9) was in 1991, and guess what? There was a major dredging project at that time.

The Bad:

(Real Bad) U. S. Fish and Wildlife at the Atlanta and Washington offices are in panic because of the SMC's Federal suit. Gail Norton, Secretary of the Interior, had been held in contempt of Federal Court in an unrelated issue, and is facing a addition Contempt Citation for violating the settlement agreement with the SMC. Word is USFW are to do anything to avoid this citation. There was a meeting held in Miami first of this week by USFW with SMC, State Florida FWCC and some others. Standing Watch was not there also missing was local officials. SMC was demanding additional restrictions for Volusia and Duval Counties. Their demand was for slow speed from Reddie Point (Trout River) to the Fuller Warren bridge with 25 MPH in the channel to the Hart bridge and then Slow Speed to the Warren bridge. Also, South of the Warren bridge 1,000 shore line slow speed buffer with all coves included.

A federal judge in Washington is the sole determining factor if this will happen. This judge has never ruled against the SMC.

(More Real Bad) USFWL is moving forward to establish "take" numbers for manatees. This is a giant play ground for the SMC with the rules to set later, by SMC no doubt. All activity will require a "Letter of Authority". This could be the end of boat racing, poker runs,ski shows etc. Then it's get real bad if the "take" number is exceeded. All activity could be required to stop.

USFW is taking comments about setting 'Take' numbers until January 27. is their site and it is important to send your comments that this a bad move and will only create confusion and will not aid manatees. Contact me if you need help with your response.

SMC is suing Army Corp of Engineers to stop the Goodby's ramp. City of Jax is intervening.

There is a SW board meeting and a additional meeting for Chapters January 18, at Sebring FL. I will be going and will be glad to have company if anyone is interested.


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