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FWC Commissioners approve rule establishing designated anchoring areas in Monroe County

At its May 10 meeting in Miami, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a rule establishing designated anchoring areas in seven locations from the middle to the lower keys in Monroe County. The designated areas are at Fleming Key, Sigsbee, Garrison Bight, Cow Key, Niles Channel, Bahia Honda Channel and Boot Key.

“We are thankful to former FWC Commissioner Robert Spottswood, FWC staff and everyone who worked on this issue,” said Brittany Burtner, Senior Administrator, Marine Resources, of Monroe County. “The Florida Keys is one the most beautiful and popular places and attracts boaters from around the world. This rule will help decrease the impact of abandoned and derelict vessels and protect our valuable natural resources.”

The new anchoring areas, required by recent legislative changes, meet all the mandatory requirements, are already used by boaters and have a variety of maximum drafts. The mandatory requirements include consideration of coral and sensitive habitats, sufficient depth and no hazardous currents, tides or navigational hazards.

“We would like to thank Monroe County Government and staff at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary who worked with us to create these designated anchoring areas,” said Maj. Rob Beaton, FWC Boating and Waterways Section Leader.

The proposed anchoring areas approved at the Commission meeting can be found at

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