As I travel around the state with meetings, one question I am asked more than any other is "what can I do to help". At first I thought everyone should know what they needed to do, but I found out that I was very wrong. The first thing I found is that the average boater/fisherman does not know or understand what is happening to their rights and what is driving these actions. As I start to tell them, the thing I hear most is "they can't do that". Well, they can, they are, and they have. The only thing between your water access rights and no rights is Standing Watch.

Standing Watch was formed in 2000 as a boaters’ coalition to represent boaters’ rights all over the state. We now represent over 20,000 boaters in the state of Florida and we are growing. As with any organization we have to continue that growth to be effective whether working in Tallahassee on legislation, on legal challenges, or wherever the struggle takes us. It is not just the number of members we can sign up but the continued financial support we get that allows us to carry on this fight for your rights. For Standing Watch to meet the challenge of defending your rights we need to have new members every day and continuous donations to the legal fund. Sadly a lot of people feel they can just pay a $25.00 membership fee and everything will be taken care of for them. That, unfortunately, is not the case. That fee barely covers the cost of the newsletter to keep you informed and up to date as to what’s being done to protect your rights. The person that asks the question "what can I do?" should be reaching out to friends and neighbors to bring them up to date and get their support also. In today's world of e-mail and web sites each of you should be able to pass on Standing Watch to a lot of people.


• Join Standing Watch at the highest level you can.

• Donate to the Standing Watch Legal Fund.

• Tell / Email your friends and neighbors about Standing Watch.

• Contact your Elected Officials, inform them on the issues and let them know you want to keep your Boating Rights.

• Get involved with your Local Chapter or start a new one in your area*.

• Become a Local Membership Director and help us a hour or two a week*.

• If you belong to a Club or an Association have us speak at a meeting*.

• If you work in a Marine-related industry inform your company about becoming a Standing Watch - Corporate Alliance Partner*.

* For more information contact Chris Smith at [email protected]

E-mail is our fastest way to inform you of things. Please make sure we have your correct email address.
Send to: [email protected]
Subject Line: New Address
Message: Please include your name and member number

What Have We Done For You!

• Participated as panelist in Governor Bush’s Manatee Summit 10/19/00.

• Addressed the Governor and Cabinet successfully on behalf of the City of Jacksonville’s request for a public boat ramp in Duval County.

• Participated in the aerial survey conducted by the Florida Marine Research Institute resulting in a record min. observed population of 3,276 manatees.

• Attended and addressed FFWCC meeting in Key Largo in support of CCA petition to down-list the manatee from "endangered" to "threatened" and asked the Commissioners to support proposed legislation being drafted by Representative Lindsay Harrington.

• Addressed U.S. Fish & Wildlife Staff at numerous meetings across Florida.

• Addressed Florida Fish & Wildlife staff at numerous meetings across Florida.

• Attended FFWCC Commission meeting in Tallahassee and addressed issues on behalf of Brevard County members.

• Participated in lawsuit settlement negotiations with plaintiff organizations, cabinet staff and FFWCC staff.

• Participated in Boating Legislative Days in Tallahassee and co-sponsored legislative reception on 20th floor of the Capitol.

• Attended Boating Advisory Council meetings to address member concerns with statewide panel of boating interests, law enforcement and agency staff.

• Attended City and County Commission meetings throughout Florida in order to educate local elected representatives to the issue of water access, and over-regulation of our aquatic resources.

• Formed "Boating Coalition" with the Marine Industries Association of Florida (MIAF), the Florida Marine Contractor’s Association (FMCA), the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs (FCYC), the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA), and Organized Fishermen of Florida and met with Governor Bush along with Boating Coalition members to address water access concerns.

• Hired Tallahassee Lobbyist Bonnie Basham.

• Collected $30,000 for the auditory manatee avoidance technology research conducted by Drs Edmund Gerstein & Joe Blue.

• Participated in the necropsy program at the FMRI Pathobiology lab in St. Petersburg.

• Opened first County Chapters of Standing Watch in Volusia and Lee Counties as well as a Central Florida Chapter that included Marion, Lake, Orange, and Citrus counties.


• We worked with Representative Lindsay Harrington (R – Punta Gorda) to develop language in his bill to modify Florida Statute 370.12. This statute delegates the legislative authority to the FFWCC to develop rules for manatee protection. The intent of the bill is to clarify legislative intent, demand more accurate science, and provide a balanced committee of regional stake-holders that will participate in the drafting of any new regulation

• We have participated in 11 Boat & Fishing Shows, and have - two on the calendar over the next month

• Legislative Days were held the 19th & 20th of February in Tallahassee. We visited legislators and agency heads to address our concerns on the resource management issues that concern us all

• February 22nd, we were invited to Wisconsin to participate in an international "Think Tank" on water related recreational activities.

• Counties that have immediate needs with respect to impending regulatory programs include Volusia, Duval, Lee, Charlotte, and Sarasota. We will be working closely with members and chapter delegates to bring positive input to these programs

• We participated with "Sensible Government for Naples" concerning a charter amendment to the City of Naples. This was a water access issue, as well as a common sense approach to pro-active restoration of damaged mangrove habitat We were proud to help Naples residents defend their rights of access while preserving their environment

• The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has announced that they are imposing Federal regulations in Brevard County based upon the data that we are challenging in our Administrative Challenge to the State regulatory initiatives in that area. We expect a busy meeting schedule, and possible further legal action

• We are participating in the "Manatee Population Ecology and Management Workshop" in Gainesville. At the table with us will be staff members from the State and Federal agencies, environmental representatives, Cabinet representatives, University level educators, and representatives from the CCA and the Marine Industries Association of Florida.

• We have educated many legislators and aides on the issues of water access, economic impact, and how the current regulatory programs are not based in sound science. We have given the boaters of the State a platform from which they will be heard in the upcoming session, and the elections of 2002.

P.O. Box 296, Estero, FL 33928 E-mail Standing Watch Call Standing Watch
Toll Free 1-866-263-5015 or in office 239-425-2504 ext 293
Copyright © 2001 by Standing Watch. All rights reserved.


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