The Mayor of Gulfport has emailed that gulfport will begin to enforce an ordinance limiting anchoring in municipal waters to 72 hours.
Like Madeira Beach the city is going to give people citations unless they leave the Boca Ciega Bay area, according to city manager Jim O’Reilly.
This action has been taken without regard to the livelihoods of people that rely on this bay to survive. Not only is this ordinance violating boater’s rights to exist in the water, but it is also illegal under Florida Statute 327.60, which clearly limits the power of any local government to enact or enforce any law, regulation, or ordinance that limits anchoring in Florida waters outside of the ICW and permitted mooring fields.
The local ordinance in question is in direct conflict with state law.
The Boca Ciega Mariners Association (BCMA) is calling on the city government of Gulfport to comply with Florida law and cease enforcement of this ordinance. Under state law, boaters have the right to anchor in Florida waters, and that right must be respected.
BCMA is a recently formed council of boaters and sailors that maintains safety and community outreach on Boca Ciega Bay.