Florida League of Cities

Vessels/Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (Watch)

HB 323 (Sirois) and CS/SB 494 (Hutson) revise the vessel conditions that an officer of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (Commission) or law enforcement agency may use to determine that a vessel is at risk of becoming derelict to include vessels that are tied to an unlawful or unpermitted mooring or other structure. The bills prohibit local governments from designating public bathing beach areas or swim areas within the marked channel portion of the Florida Intracoastal Waterway or within 100 feet of the marked channel. The bills repeal Section 376.15, Florida Statutes, relating to derelict vessels and the relocation and removal of such vessels. The bills amend the definition of "abandoned property" to include vessels declared to be a public nuisance and clarify the notice requirements and procedure for vessels declared to be public nuisances. The bills authorize the Commission to establish a grant program for local governments regarding derelict vessels and vessels declared a public nuisance. (Branch)