Local Resident Tom Dawson's - Letter to the Editor of the Breeze
On March 18, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission announced the state has “passed the mark of one million registered recreational vessels across the state” and here in Lee County, at the end of 2021, there were 50,304 registered recreational vessels.
In the spring of 2020, the city of Cape Coral, under pressure from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, put a notice in the city’s quarterly newsletter “On The Move” titled “Outdated Signage in Local Waterways to Be Removed.” You can read the notice yourself; it can be found on the city’s website on the Community Newsletter page. Some key passages include:
A city employee told the Waterway Advisor Board it can do nothing to remove the illegal speed limit signs in the canals that private residents have on their property. Beyond the article mentioned previously, the city has not taken any substantive measures to inform canal residents and boaters the current rules and regulations. Even the current “Canal Owner’s Manual” which was written in 2009 doesn’t address any boating rules and regulations.
The following are some of the recommendations made to the city’s Waterway Advisory Board
- Repeal city ordinance 10-10 (b) and harmonize the city regulation with one that mirrors F.A.C. 68C-22.005 (d) 5. “Slow Speed (All Year) — including the residential canals of Cape Coral.”
- Add the state’s definition of Slow Speed Minimum Wake to city ordinance 10-10.
- Notify all canal homeowners and boaters what the legal speed limit is and post this information online.
- Notify all canal homeowners the need to take down all of the illegal “Idle Speed No Wake”signs on their property.
- Obtain a permission from the state to establish “Idle Speed No Wake Zones”at boat ramps and gas docks.
Finally, for all boaters new and old in Cape Coral learn all the boating rules and regulations by taking an approved Boating Safety Course and earning your State of Florida Boating Safety Education ID Card. This course covers all of the Federal, and State regulations along with boating basics that Florida boaters need to know. A listing of approved course providers is available at myfwc.com.