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Date of Issue: February 11, 2009

City enacts temporary mooring regs

New regulations for the waters that Bradenton Beach controls are in place by vote of the city commission.

The ordinance unanimously approved in a final reading Feb. 5 provides temporary regulations until the city can enact an anchorage and mooring field plan and hire a harbor master.

The city is at work on drafting a master recreational boating plan that will involve adopting permanent regulations for the mooring field, but Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale, the city pier management team and members of the advisory ScenicWaves Committee have said interim rules are needed.

A state law extends Bradenton Beach’s boundaries 500 feet into Sarasota bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and the new ordinance states, “The city would like to exercise its police powers for law enforcement in the city waters.”

The measure outlines rules for boats in the area:

  • No watercraft shall be operated at a rate of speed causing waves that damage docks, seawalls and other property.
  • Major repairs of vessels are prohibited in the mooring field area.
  • A vessel with people aboard and anchored, moored or docked in the same location for 72 hours, is presumed to be a liveaboard vessel.
  • The city will establish a Marine Anchorage and Mooring Field Committee that includes two waterfront land or business representatives, two boaters and two environmental community representatives.
  • No person shall discharge raw or treated sewage from any vessel.
  • No person on any vessel or on land may dispose of garbage or waste into city waters.
  • No abandoned, derelict or wrecked vessel shall be allowed in city waters.
  • Mooring of vessels overnight is permitted on a mooring buoy within the city’s mooring field area, located south of the Historic Bridge Street Pier.
  • No one may operate a business from a vessel occupying a mooring without permission of the city commission.

There was no public comment offered on the regulations during the meeting.

The regulations, as well as the status of the city’s effort to draft a master boating plan, will be discussed at a meeting at 5 p.m. Feb. 18, at city hall.