However, as I watch another state across the country, I can see
that their governor is taking a proactive approach to boating. What
an inspiration for the boating community and civic leaders.
Those in the boating community should climb aboard this boat. We
do not want to be left behind, teak surfing and just sucking in the
Florida took two major steps to maintain and improve access for
boating when Gov. Jeb Bush signed two legislative bills into law.
Florida residents realize how important the marine industry is to
their state and that boating and fishing are the No. 1 activity in
the United States for families to spend time together.
The marine industry in Florida produces $14.1 billion -- that's
billion with a B -- of total economic output. Did you know that the
economic effect of Florida's recreational boating industry is twice
as great as its citrus industry? Now, you can stop imagining oranges
when you think about Florida; picture boats cruising on the
Gov. Bush signed bills that specifically start to address the
problem of shrinking public access to waterfronts and marinas.
One bill creates the Waterfronts Florida Program, which will
provide technical assistance and support for local communities to
maintain, revitalize and develop commercial waterfront areas in the
state. Comprehensive land-use plans will now have to include an
attempt to preserve recreational and commercial working waterfronts.
The second bill requires the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection to adopt a rule for general permits allowing local
governments to construct and operate public marinas, guest docks,
upland parking and public boat ramps.
Additionally, the bill requires that public marinas must comply
with the local government's comprehensive plan for local communities
to maintain, revitalize and develop commercial waterfront areas.
We should all look to what is transpiring in Florida, especially
as Newport Beach struggles with how to develop the Marinapark
I am very curious to see what will happen to the floating barge
and parking lot area when the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum leaves
for its new home.