FWC News Release

Contact: Dawn Griffin, 850-488-5600

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will begin soon to remove, repair and install waterway markers in Martin County’s existing state-adopted manatee protection and boating safety zones. The contractor expects to begin work in early June and finish by the end of summer. The FWC took responsibility for the signs from the Florida Inland Navigation District in July 2005.

"It's all about slowing down vessel traffic in areas where vessel congestion occurs and manatees frequent, to protect the safety of the boating public and our manatees," said Capt. David Schaeffer of the FWC's Division of Law Enforcement. "Clearly marked zones improve operator compliance."

The FWC is replacing damaged and deteriorated signs. In addition, the project includes removal of unpermitted or illegal signs, which add to operator confusion and make the state zones unenforceable.

Workers will replace signs that display incorrect information and will relocate the ones that need better placement.

"There are several areas around the county where officers are only issuing warnings because the signs are missing or damaged," Schaeffer said. "After completion of the project and an education period, officers will begin issuing citations for speed violations within regulatory zones."

For more information, visit www.MyFWC.com and click "Boating" to access existing state manatee protection and boating safety regulations and maps.