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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XXIV
VESSELS
Chapter 327
VESSEL SAFETY
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F.S. 327.46
327.46 Boating-restricted areas.
(1) Boating-restricted areas, including, but not limited to, restrictions of vessel speeds and vessel traffic, may be established on the waters of this state for any purpose necessary to protect the safety of the public if such restrictions are necessary based on boating accidents, visibility, hazardous currents or water levels, vessel traffic congestion, or other navigational hazards or to protect seagrasses on privately owned submerged lands.
(a) The commission may establish boating-restricted areas by rule pursuant to chapter 120.
(b) Municipalities and counties have the authority to establish the following boating-restricted areas by ordinance:
1. An ordinance establishing an idle speed, no wake boating-restricted area, if the area is:
a. Within 500 feet of any boat ramp, hoist, marine railway, or other launching or landing facility available for use by the general boating public on waterways more than 300 feet in width or within 300 feet of any boat ramp, hoist, marine railway, or other launching or landing facility available for use by the general boating public on waterways not exceeding 300 feet in width.
b. Within 500 feet of fuel pumps or dispensers at any marine fueling facility that sells motor fuel to the general boating public on waterways more than 300 feet in width or within 300 feet of the fuel pumps or dispensers at any licensed terminal facility that sells motor fuel to the general boating public on waterways not exceeding 300 feet in width.
c. Inside or within 300 feet of any lock structure.
2. An ordinance establishing a slow speed, minimum wake boating-restricted area if the area is:
a. Within 300 feet of any bridge fender system.
b. Within 300 feet of any bridge span presenting a vertical clearance of less than 25 feet or a horizontal clearance of less than 100 feet.
c. On a creek, stream, canal, or similar linear waterway if the waterway is less than 75 feet in width from shoreline to shoreline.
d. On a lake or pond of less than 10 acres in total surface area.
3. An ordinance establishing a vessel-exclusion zone if the area is:
a. Designated as a public bathing beach or swim area.
b. Within 300 feet of a dam, spillway, or flood control structure.
(c) Municipalities and counties have the authority to establish by ordinance the following other boating-restricted areas:
1. An ordinance establishing an idle speed, no wake boating-restricted area, if the area is within 300 feet of a confluence of water bodies presenting a blind corner, a bend in a narrow channel or fairway, or such other area if an intervening obstruction to visibility may obscure other vessels or other users of the waterway.
2. An ordinance establishing a slow speed, minimum wake, or numerical speed limit boating-restricted area if the area is:
a. Within 300 feet of a confluence of water bodies presenting a blind corner, a bend in a narrow channel or fairway, or such other area if an intervening obstruction to visibility may obscure other vessels or other users of the waterway.
b. Subject to unsafe levels of vessel traffic congestion.
c. Subject to hazardous water levels or currents, or containing other navigational hazards.
d. An area that accident reports, uniform boating citations, vessel traffic studies, or other creditable data demonstrate to present a significant risk of collision or a significant threat to boating safety.
3. An ordinance establishing a vessel-exclusion zone if the area is reserved exclusively:
a. As a canoe trail or otherwise limited to vessels under oars or under sail.
b. For a particular activity and user group separation must be imposed to protect the safety of those participating in such activity.

Any of the ordinances adopted pursuant to this paragraph shall not take effect until the commission has reviewed the ordinance and determined by substantial competent evidence that the ordinance is necessary to protect public safety pursuant to this paragraph. Any application for approval of an ordinance shall be reviewed and acted upon within 90 days after receipt of a completed application. Within 30 days after a municipality or county submits an application for approval to the commission, the commission shall advise the municipality or county as to what information, if any, is needed to deem the application complete. An application shall be considered complete upon receipt of all requested information and correction of any error or omission for which the applicant was timely notified or when the time for such notification has expired. The commission’s action on the application shall be subject to review under chapter 120. The commission shall initiate rulemaking no later than January 1, 2010, to provide criteria and procedures for reviewing applications and procedures for providing for public notice and participation pursuant to this paragraph.

(d) Owners of private submerged lands that are adjacent to Outstanding Florida Waters, as defined in s. 403.061(27), or an aquatic preserve established under ss. 258.39-258.399 may request that the commission establish boating-restricted areas solely to protect any seagrass and contiguous seagrass habitat within their private property boundaries from seagrass scarring due to propeller dredging. Owners making a request pursuant to this paragraph must demonstrate to the commission clear ownership of the submerged lands. The commission shall adopt rules to implement this paragraph, including, but not limited to, establishing an application process and criteria for meeting the requirements of this paragraph. Each approved boating-restricted area shall be established by commission rule. For marking boating-restricted zones established pursuant to this paragraph, owners of privately submerged lands shall apply to the commission for a uniform waterway marker permit in accordance with ss. 327.40 and 327.41, and shall be responsible for marking the boating-restricted zone in accordance with the terms of the permit.
(e) As used in this section, the term “seagrass” has the same meaning as in s. 253.04.
(2) Each such boating-restricted area shall be developed in consultation and coordination with the governing body of the county or municipality in which the boating-restricted area is located and, when the boating-restricted area is to be on the navigable waters of the United States, with the United States Coast Guard and the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
(3) It is unlawful for any person to operate a vessel in a prohibited manner or to carry on any prohibited activity, as defined in this chapter, within a boating-restricted area which has been clearly marked by regulatory markers as authorized under this chapter.
(4) Restrictions in a boating-restricted area established pursuant to this section shall not apply in the case of an emergency or to a law enforcement, firefighting, or rescue vessel owned or operated by a governmental entity.
History.s. 7, ch. 63-105; s. 1, ch. 65-361; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 23, ch. 78-95; s. 7, ch. 81-100; s. 27, ch. 99-245; s. 16, ch. 2000-362; s. 13, ch. 2009-86; s. 8, ch. 2017-163.
Note.Former s. 371.522.