OILA strongly supports the creation of a "minimum wake zone" from the east at Marler Park to the west at Lisa Jackson park.
Email from Dave Hancock, past OILA President:
President Okaloosa Island Leaseholders Association
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will hold a public workshop in Fort Walton Beach to address possible rule amendments reducing vessel speed limits within the Florida Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) in Okaloosa County. The amendments to rule 68D-24.146, Florida Administrative Code would propose the expansion of vessel speed restrictions on the western boundary of the Brooks Bridge boating safety zone due to the presence of the City of Fort Walton Landing public boat ramp. Other proposed changes include updates to maps and other minor technical changes to language. The workshop will be held Friday, March 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Emerald Coast Convention Center, 1250 Miracle Strip Parkway SE.
The Presentation for the Meeting is now online. (March 13th)
Go to myfwc.com then click on Waterway Management under the Boating tab then click on Public Workshops/Meeting/Notices. The first item is the Okaloosa meeting and the presentation is highlighted in red, Okaloosa County BSA Presentation. Click on that to see the 6 page presentation.
Please submit comments or additional information requests directly to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Boating and Waterways Section at (850) 488-5600.
Dave Hancock, OILA President, provided the following report on the FWC meeting on March 17th.
After almost two hours of discussion we hearing was wrapped up with details of what happens next – the FWC will revise their proposal based on the public hearing comments and also comments sent in to the FWC and send it back to us for review.
Input from Bobby Nabors, owner of Liquid Surf and Sail in Fort Walton Beach
Mr Moreau and other FWC staff,
Thank you for your time in addressing the no wake zone extension in Okaloosa county between Marler Park and Liza Jackson Park. I own and operate a watersports store in downtown Fort Walton Beach. We have been in business for 12 years, I was born in Ft Walton beach and have been a boater my entire life. While at times No Wake Zones can be an inconvenience, I truly believe the no wake zone being discussed should be extended for the safety of boaters both powered and non-powered. The reality is power boaters do not pay attention to smaller craft, sail craft, and other non-powered craft the way they are legally obligated. And in this narrow high traffic area everyone would benefit from the no wake zone. I am all for small government and less laws but this extension will actually allow more people to safely use the waterway which is a benefit to the majority.
Thank you for your time,