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September 9, 2003
CONTACT: Dennis David or
Joy Hill (352) 732-1225

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is holding a series of three public meetings regarding airboat noise. The meetings will be held in Dania, Ocala and Lecanto.

The purpose of the meetings is to explore solutions to conflicts that arise between waterfront residents and airboat enthusiasts because of the loud noise that airboats sometimes produce.

At the meetings, FWC officials will explain why this has become an issue, and take comments from interested parties from both the general public and the boating industry. These meetings are open to the public and anyone concerned with this issue is encouraged to attend and provide input.

The FWC was asked to host the workshops in lieu of a statute change that was considered by the legislature last year.  The information gathered at these workshops will be critical in the FWC’s attempt to find and recommend solutions to these problems.

“Since the 2003 Legislative Session, the FWC has worked closely with airboaters, the boating industry, residents of Florida’s waterways and interested legislators. Now we want to hear from the public,” said Dennis David, the FWC’s Northeast Regional Director.

Toward that end the Commission is hearing several suggested approaches, such as regulatory changes, boater education and various methods of information dissemination, and required muffling of airboats.

As Florida’s population continues to increase, so does development of homes on the state’s lakes, rivers and other waterways. Now, where there was once only forests and wildlife inhabiting the shores of many of these waterways, and airboats could operate without the concern of disturbing others, there are now homes and communities. This situation has created a conflict regarding vessel noise between residents and airboat operators.

The public input meetings will be held at the following locations on the dates and times listed:

bulletSept. 13 from 2-4 p.m., in southeast Florida at the International Game Fish Association auditorium at 300 Gulfstream Way, Dania Beach
bulletSept. 27 from 2-4 p.m. in central Florida at the Marion County Agriculture Extension Service auditorium at 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala
bulletOct. 2 from 2-4 p.m. in west central Florida at Central Florida Community College - Citrus County Campus, Jerome Multipurpose Room, Bldg. L2 Room 103, 3800 Lecanto Highway, Lecanto

Anyone interested is strongly urged to attend one of these meetings and provide input. Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), anyone requiring special accommodations to participate in these meetings should advise the FWC at least five days in advance by contacting Cindy Hoffman, ADA coordinator at 850-488-6411. If you are hearing or speech impaired please contact the FWC at 850-488-9542.

For more information, contact Dennis David or Elaine Richardson at 352-732-1225.





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