Monthly Archives: May 2013

Preparing for Future Growth in Boating on County Waterways

one teamThe Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners approved two important boating and waterways planning documents on April 9th. Both documents were prepared by the University of Florida, Florida Sea Grant College Program to help the County prepare for increasing demand for boating access to its waterways. Here’s a brief look at what’s inside each document.

Planning for the Future of Recreational Boating Access to Charlotte County Waterways: 2010-2050 – This document, completed in October 2012, specifies the type, quantity and location of public access facilities that will be needed in Charlotte County to meet projected demand through the year 2050. In 2012, there were 20,419 vessels registered in Charlotte County; by 2050, the number is expected to increase to about 28,000. Of interest for planning efforts: the share of recreational boats 16 to 26 feet in length, which currently comprises just over 50% of all boats, will experience the largest overall growth among vessel length classes.

Currently, 53% of Charlotte County residents who boat, gain access to the water from a residential dock, while 35% use a boat ramp and 12% a marina (wet or dry slip). When examining who uses boating facilities located in Charlotte County, we find that County residents constitute 53% of those who use a boat ramp and the remaining 47% are non-residents. Likewise, 51% of in-county marina patrons are County residents, while 49% are non-residents. When planning for the future, the projected increase in demand indicates that Charlotte County will need to add 600-1600 marina slips and 15 ramp lanes. The document also includes an analysis of suitable sites for managed mooring fields, for expanding existing marinas and boat ramps, and for developing new boat access facilities. To access the full report visit:

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What are your experiences with Goliath Grouper?

What are your experiences interacting with goliath grouper? Good? Bad?  Do you have suggestions about how these giant reef fish should be managed?goliath in blue hole

Florida Sea Grant Extension Agents are working with researchers from the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program at the University of Florida to collect feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders about their views and experiences regarding the goliath grouper and its management.

Survey link:

Responses to this survey are very important and will be presented to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fisheries Management Councils to help inform in their decisions on the future management of the goliath grouper. For more information on this project and the goliath grouper in general, please visit

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