With the Memorial Day weekend upon us we ask you to be vigilant and help protect our coral reefs from anchor damage.
The Florida Coral Reef Protection Act went into effect in 2009. It provides penalties for anchoring on the coral reefs of southFlorida. The recreational diving community has been very effective in bringing violators to justice by supplying FDEP with documentation of illegal anchoring activity.
Through the efforts of local dive boat operators and divers anchoring in coral has been nearly eliminated inPalm BeachCounty. In the past year FDEP has issued dozens of warning letters and fined many repeat offenders using the information supplied to them by the divers.
Documenting and reporting boats anchored in coral
To report a boat anchored in coral you need:
- To be positive it is anchored on the reef.
- Vessel registration numbers and vessel description.
- Date, time, water depth and GPS coordinates of the anchored boat.
- A photo of the vessel, preferably with the shoreline in the background.
- You can also provide, though not absolutely necessary, a photo of the boat’s anchor embedded in the reef.
Email these items with your contact information to: Jason.Andreotta@dep.state.fl.us, cc: John.Evered@dep.state.fl.us and Troy.C.Craig@dep.state.fl.us.
If you are more comfortable passing this information along to Reef Rescue, we are here to help and will forward it to the FDEP for you.
If you need more information please contact Palm Beach County Reef Rescue