This video tape was made on Memorial Day weekend, 2015, by David Brown, property owner on the Santa Fe River near the confluence with the Ichetucknee River. OSFR is sharing it in the interest of education about the boat traffic conditions on the lower Santa Fe.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FFWC or FWC) will hold a “no wake” meeting on July 9 at 6 pm at Fort White Community Center near the school’s ball fields.
This is a very important opportunity for citizen participation in a government meeting that will assist the FWC Agency to decide the trigger for flood conditions with respect to boat wakes.
If you use the river for any of the following recreational uses: swimming, diving, fishing, power boating, kayaking, canoeing, tubing, birding, or just nature contemplation, you need to come to this meeting. The FWC requests your input, and they will listen to you and record your comments. Come prepared to fill out a card, as the Santa Fe River which has no voice needs yours. This meeting is the extended deadline and this will probably be your last opportunity to speak about the flood trigger level for a “no wake.”
FWC is primarily interested in safety, and rightly so; please keep your comments directed toward your experiences with safety on the Santa Fe River. Additionally, landowners and OSFR are also concerned about river bank erosion caused by boat wake and flooding, especially in the lower stretches downriver from the confluence of the Ichetucknee.
OSFR agrees that the river needs to be divided into four zones because of the variability of water levels during flood stage.
We need you to attend this important meeting and we need your input. For those who cannot attend please call or email your concerns about raising the flood stage trigger for “no wake” enforcement. We would like the trigger to be lowered by 3′ from the current standard (this level was originaly requested in 2006 when the current”no wake” level was created.) OSFR wants FWC to consider adopting a “no wake” during all water levels on the entire stretch of the lower Santa Fe River from the confluence of the Suwannee River up to River Rise above the US 441 bridge near High Springs.
As can be seen in the video above, non-powered users of the lower Santa Fe, such as kayaks, canoes, tubes, swimmers and divers are at peril due to motor boat use. OSFR is not opposed to motor boat use on the Santa Fe River, we are concerned about the unsafe enormous wake caused by powered craft. We want harmony on our tranquil waters with safety being our priority. A “no wake” or idle speed will make our waters safe for everyone’s enjoyment.
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Division of Law Enforcement’s Boating and Waterways Section, announces a public workshop to which all persons are invited.
DATE AND TIME: Thursday, July 9, 2015, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
PLACE: Fort White Community Center, 17579 SW State Road 47, Fort White, FL 32038
PURPOSE: The purpose and effect of this workshop is to address possible rule changes to Rule 68D-24.020, Florida Administrative Code (Suwannee and Santa Fe River Boating Restricted Areas) affecting vessel speed during flood conditions within the Santa Fe River, and dividing the river into four (4) independent zones for the purpose of regulating vessel speed during flood events; activating and deactivating the zones independently, which would more accurately reflect the public safety needs during various flood events occurring within the basin, referencing current United States Geological Survey river stage gauges and datum, and raising the trigger level in the lower portion of the Santa Fe River basin to more closely align with the official river flood stage as was intended by current Florida law from 17’ to 18’.