Gordon Wills, with the City of Clearwater, points to some damage at the downtown marina's waterfront docks. Wills says it's mainly due to boaters who continually ignore the no wake zones near the Memorial Causeway bridge.
"I don't want to call them negligent, but they are not worried about it as much as we are," said Wills.
But the city's concerns were enough to get the attention of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. And for the last six months, FWC officials monitored boat traffic using a camera mounted on the dock.
FWC Officer Baryl Martin explained that an expanded zone is being considered near the Memorial Causeway bridge.
"What's been proposed is FWC is looking at extending the slow speed zone to the entire width of the bridge; as well as additional length of the speed zones south of the bridge."
The current zone extends 500' south of Memorial Causeway to the Seminole boat ramp to the north. The expanded zone would add an additional 715' to the southern border.
In the seven years since the larger bridge was built, more boaters have been venturing outside the marked channel. Which allows them to legally ignore the no wake zone.
The FWC also wants to expand the slower speed no wake zone at the Dunedin Causeway bridge near Honeymoon Island.
"The complaints that we've been receiving regarding the Dunedin Causeway bridge, are that multiple PWC's (personal watercraft) and other vessels have been going on plane underneath the bridge," explained Martin.
The FWC is holding a public workshop meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center, 1001 Gulf Blvd. on Sand Key in Clearwater.
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