The NSB Alliance and a few other individuals met with Mayor-Fred Cleveland, City Manager-Khalid Resheidat and Chief Of Police-Eric Feldman. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss plans and share ideas regarding derelict boat removal from our waterways.
Here is what our research has taught us thus far.
- Currently there are approximately 52 derelict/live abord vessels anchored in our waterways.
- According the FL EPA an individual living aboard a boat using a marine toilet produces 5 to 7 gallons of sewage per day, 196 gallons per month and annually somewhere around 10,000 gallons of sewage.
- Most of the boats we observed and photographed appear to be permanently anchored and rarely move if ever at all. Meaning they are not using available pump out facilities so sewage is being discharged illegally into our waters.
- Florida law empowers towns to regulate live aboard boating activity, and by law there are four areas we can pursue as a city to enforce laws in regard to these derelict boats.
- A) Discharge of Raw Sewage
B) Annexation and special legislation
C) Live aboard
D) At Risk
Essentially, there are legal pathways that our city commission and attorney can pursue to assist with removal of derelict boats, however, these laws are very cumbersome and challenging to enforce. The RAW SEWAGE Dumping is probably the easiest and so is the fact that we can monitor boats and they are required to change positions at certain intervals. The challenge is to enforce and have the ability to enforce.
Our city has purchased a boat for local law enforcement and it will be delivered sometime in summer of 2024. Chief Eric Feldman believes that the best way to manage this problem is to start enforcing what we can on a regular basis. In all likelihood, once enforcement begins, most of these boats will choose to leave because someone will be holding them accountable, potentially fining them and egregious conditions exists, confiscation is a possibility.
In the end, we wish the solution was approaching faster, but for now this is what we have.
We commend the city for purchasing a boat and for the police force willingness to engage and enforce statutes with the derelict boats. We will update this post when more information is available.
Here is an interesting read an article by FDLE on NSB purchasing A Police Boat: Click Here