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NEWS FROM AROUND THE SOUTH AND THE WORLD OF SAILING Send us news, including business press releases, to We need to receive them by the 1st of the month preceding publication. Contact us if later (it most likely will get in, but not certain).

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association Campaigns for the 1100-Mile Waterway on Capitol Hill From BoatUS

Hazardous shoaling reduces depth to less than five feet in several sections The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, the famed 1100-plus mile coastal waterway stretching from Norfolk, VA, to Miami, FL, is getting “thin.” Shoaling has created hazardous conditions in some areas with depths reported less than 5 feet—which reflects a remarkable seven feet of water depth lost in the waterway’s authorized minimum depth of 12 feet. The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association (AIWA), a waterways interest group, gathered in March in Washington, DC, to ensure the Department of Transportation-designated marine highway M-95 is a top priority for Congress and the Trump Administration. AIWA members are requesting legislators allocate $50 million for additional dredging needs to come from within the US Army Corps of Engineers operating and maintenance budget. AIWA members also pressed the case for continued allocations for operations and maintenance of navigation projects. An estimated 13,000 recreational boaters, or “snow-

Okeechobee Water Level Goes Down about 9 Inches Since March As of press date in early April, Lake Okeechobee was at 12.42 feet above sea level. This makes the navigational depth for Route 1, which crosses the lake, 6.36 feet, and the navigational depth for Route 2, which goes around the southern coast of the lake, 4.56 feet. Bridge clearance at Myakka was at 50.97 feet. For those interested in seeing the daily height of the lake, navigation route depths and bridge clearance, go to (copy this address exactly as it is here with upper and lower cases). This link is also available on our website, See the left column. News & Views for Southern Sailors

birds,” make the annual boating migration from the Northeast to Florida each year, averaging $300 per day in spending supporting small-business jobs along the way. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), a charter member of the AIWA, has concerns about boaters potentially forced to take more hazardous offshore routes due to ICW shoaling. BoatUS’s on-water TowBoatUS towing responders in South Carolina and Georgia report shoaling to be an on-going issue in some locations. Additional AIWA members include the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association, Florida Inland Navigation District, Waterways Journal, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association, as well as state and local agencies, marinas and commercial shipping businesses, tourism groups, publications, associations, dredging companies and tug and maritime businesses. For more information about the AIWA, visit

Portable VHF Radios Now Legal to use Onshore and New VHF Channels Being Added Although few know that until recently it was illegal to use a portable (handheld) VHF radio on shore, you can now do so legally, as of January. Fixed-station VHFs have always been used onshore, but a new ruling by the FCC, made in conjunction with the Coast Guard and marineindustry groups, now allows their use on land, but with certain limitations: The radio must be used adjacent to water, like on a dock or beach, and the use of the radio “communications must relate to the operational and business needs of the associated vessel.” Transmission time must be kept to a minimum, too—ie, no BSing. Channel 9 SOUTHWINDS May 2017


Southwinds May 2017  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...

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