Many visitors to our area are dangerously underqualified and uninformed about local boating practices and laws. Because of this I and many other feel that ALL Rental boats should be mandated to be equip with a propeller guard.
This will protect our wildlife such as Manatee, Dolphins and Sea Turtles who frequently get hit. it will protect the seagrass beds. This will also protect the propeller and motor itself saving hundreds of dollars in repairs that these companies deal with every day.
NO! The boats that will be using these will primarily be deck boats and pontoon boats. They are not able to go even close to a speed where these will be affecting performance, maneuverability or fuel efficiency.
This WILL NOT affect tour companies or private owners. it will ONLY affect rental boats companies and the boaters who operate them.
This is a first step in protecting our wildlife on a new level. It will show our visitors that we care enough to have this mandate in place. It will also be a visual reminder to the operators to stay in the navigable channels and to be aware of the wildlife around.
This will dramatically cut down on animal and human deaths and injuries in our area due to negligent boating practices.
Many of our visitors come to enjoy our waterways however you do not need to be a captain or even proficient on a boat to rent one in our area. NO LICENSE IS REQUIRED. Because of this the tour companies give a short educational talk about speeding and safe navigation which is usually lost in translation. Eye witness accounts and files on record show that many wildlife collisions occur from inexperienced boaters. This is one more precaution to help those who desperately need it.
SPEAK UP. VOTE. SIGN THE PETITION. SPREAD THE WORD!!!