- The draft regulations and HB 201 require the state to prohibit anchorage everywhere except in designated anchorages. We believe the proposed regulations should be amended to require just the opposite. Anchorage should be allowed in estuarine waters by default, with restrictions put in place only to prevent hazards to navigation, and near boat ramps, in-water structures and areas deemed to have a specific need for protection, including shellfish beds.
- We strongly object to even the concept of treating anchorage in Georgia's public waters like a hotel. We know of no state that charges boaters by the day to anchor in its waters. We do not believe this permit scheme will be enforceable given the severe shortage of on-water patrols and other resources. We expect it will be extremely costly and difficult for the state to provide sufficient education to transient boaters to create even minimal compliance with these fees.
- HB 201 goes to great length to create criminal penalties for a boater to not purchase and properly display an anchorage permit and/or to fail to retain records proving the use of a pumpout facility. Therefore, a person who anchors for a week in a lesser-used portion of a Georgia estuary faces a criminal penalty for failure to purchase a $20 sticker.
- Georgia's marinas should not be required to maintain a record of pump outs, for what appears to be a way to cross-check the validity of a boater's records. This excessive mandate places an unfair and costly burden on the businesses, and provides no benefit to the State, the environment or boaters.