Standing Watch members worked tirelessly in the Legislature garnering support for SB 2586 which creates on Office of Boating and Waterways within the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. Your efforts paid off with the passage of the bill in the House 116-3 and Senate 27-12. The bill is now on it's way to the Governor for his signature and this is where we once again need your help.

PLEASE write the Governor and let him know that you would
like for him to sign this bill into law. Be sure and include your full name and address. His address is Governor Jeb Bush, PL 05 The Capitol, 400 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001 or email at
[email protected]. A letter is best but use email if that is all of the time you have!
AN EXPLANATION OF THE BILL – you may want to use some of these facts in your email/letter to Gov. Bush.

This bill transfers a "small portion" of the 38 million dollars in fuel
tax collected from boats fueling at marinas only. It does not transfer any of the fuel tax collected at your corner gas station - which is where the vast majority of boat fuel up. It transfers 2.5 million dollars in the first year and gradually increases to 13.4 million in year 5, and then remains study. This concession was made to minimize impacts to the Department of Transportation's 5 year work plan. These funds are currently used by DOT for the construction of roads. The Florida Transportation code defines roads to include waterways! Our waterways are Florida's first highways. It is important that we continue to invest in them.

These funds will be administered by the FFWCC to accomplish several important things:
1.)Fund an additional 29 law enforcement positions which will be deployed to high risk manatee counties. This should allow us to reach for adequate enforcement levels benefiting both boater safety and the manatee. In those areas where the USFWS have determined that there is "inadequate protection" it should
help lift this designation and restore single family and commercial
dock permits that are currently on hold.
2.) The bill also funds manatee signage. This provision also helps
with the dock permitting issue.
3.) The bill provides for grants back to cities and counties to fund
additional water access projects. There is a severe shortage of water
access in many areas of the state and these grants will go a long way
towards allevihating this pressure.
Additionally an Office of Boating and Waterways will be created within
the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This bill does not create any new positions (FTE's), but will consolidate and streamline existing boating and waterway related functions within the commission.

This bill was supported by both the marine and boating community as
well as the vast majority of the environmental community. It is good for the manatee, the boater, and the 14.2 billion dollar per year marine industry.
A win win utilizing fees paid by the users

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
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