Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - October 22, 2013
October 22, 2013 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #40

Ordinance Amendment to Establish Boating Safety Idle Speed No Wake Zone in Manatee River Adjacent to the Fort Hamer Rowing Facility


Contact and/or Presenter Information

Alan Lai Hipp, Environmental Program Manager



Charlie Hunsicker, Director, Parks and Natural Resources



Action Requested

Adopt Ordinance No. 13-37 to establish an idle-speed, no-wake boating safety restricted area over the area of the Manatee River adjacent to Fort Hamer Park.

Enabling/Regulating Authority

Pursuant to F.S. 327.46(1)(b)1.a. the County has the authority to establish a boating restricted area for the purpose of boating safety by Ordinance.

Background Discussion
  • The public boat ramp at Ft. Hamer Park is used extensively by boaters wishing to access the middle and upper reaches of the Manatee River. Recent improvements to the park include the addition of a storage structure and floating dock supporting competitive rowing (sculling) training activities. The facility is utilized by both collegiate and high school rowing teams. Planned future improvements to the launch ramp and docks at the park will likely increase vessel traffic in this general area. The regulated speed zones that exist in this section of the Manatee River were established in 2004/2005.
  • Staff has been made aware of incidents involving rowing sculls nearly being capsized by wakes originating from vessel traffic in the area of the Fort Hamer rowing facility dock. Large vessel wakes were reported as also having caused safety issues as rowers attempted to get in or out of their racing sculls while moored to the rowing facility dock.
  • Large vessel wakes also pose a safety hazard to vessels, canoes or kayaks utilizing the Ft. Hamer public boat ramp and docks as well as the boat ramp and dock associated with the Rive Isle development.
  • The proposed “idle speed no wake" (defined as the minimum speed that allows a vessel to maintain headway and steerage) zone will extend 500 feet east and west of the rowing facility dock at Ft. Hamer Park.
  • The main component of the proposed zone addition is the shortening of the existing regulated channel which allows vessels to travel up to 25 miles per hour while in the channel west of Ft. Hamer Park; the change will require easterly traveling vessels to slow to idle speed 500 feet west of the rowing facility dock.

County Attorney Review
Formal Written Review (Opinion memo must be attached)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records

Return one certified recorded copy of Ordinance 13-37 to Natural Resources Department, Alan Lai Hipp, ext. 4614.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  2012 FS XXIV, Chp 327.pdf
Attachment:  FT_ISNW_Plan1.pdf
Attachment:  FT_ISNW_Plan2.pdf
Attachment:  Waterways Amendment (Ft. Hamer ISZ) Final.pdf
Attachment:  HamerISNWINSET Exhibit B.pdf
Attachment:  Slide Presentation - Proposed Ordinance 13-37.pdf