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Bill Summary Details

Operation and Safety of Motor Vehicles and Vessels (Support)

CS/CS/SB 1086 (Hutson) amends numerous provisions of current law relating to boater safety, derelict vessels, marine sanitation devices and recovery of space flight assets. The bill defines “human-powered vessel” and imposes requirements for the operation of human-powered vessels within the boundaries of a marked channel of the Florida Intracoastal Waterway. It designates Monroe County as an anchoring limitation area upon the county meeting certain conditions. It authorizes the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to establish anchoring/mooring/beaching/grounding protection zones for springs. The bill makes multiple revisions to laws governing derelict vessel identification and removal. It provides that officers may provide in-person notice that a vessel is at risk of becoming derelict if there is a body camera recording. The bill also authorizes specified officers and agencies to relocate an at-risk vessel to a location further from a mangrove or upland vegetation. The bill authorizes the FWC to establish a derelict vessel prevention program, which may include provisions for removal of nuisance, derelict or at-risk vessels; a vessel “turn-in” program for owners; and removal of abandoned vessels. It authorizes local governments to enact and enforce regulations to remove an abandoned or lost vessel affixed to a public mooring. The bill specifies conditions under which vessels with repeated violations may be declared a public nuisance and provides requirements for notice to vessel owners and remedies. It amends the definition of “derelict vessel” to include criteria for determining whether a vessel is considered wrecked, junked or substantially dismantled. The bill prohibits the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles from issuing a certificate of title to an applicant for a vessel that has been deemed derelict and, beginning in 2023, authorizes the agency to reject an application for a certificate of title for a vessel that has been deemed derelict. The bill amends provisions relating to anchoring or mooring limitations to clarify that distance restrictions apply to both public and private marinas and apply only to public vessel launching or loading facilities. It authorizes municipalities to establish boating-restricted areas within the boundaries of a permitted public mooring field and a buffer around the mooring field of up to 100 feet. It also authorizes local governments to establish vessel-exclusion zones within the portion of the Intracoastal Waterway within their jurisdictions, except local governments may not establish such a zone for public bathing beaches or swim areas within the waterway. The bill creates provisions addressing vessel speeds within specified distances of activated emergency vessels and construction barges. It requires owners or operators of live-aboard vessels to maintain documentation relating to marine sanitation devices. The bill establishes, upon approval by the Environmental Protection Agency, a no-discharge zone for all waters within aquatic preserves and provides for penalties for violation of the prohibition. (O'Hara)