Expect new navigational aids and markers on the Loxahatchee River
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Media contact: Dawn Griffin, 850-488-5600 (FWC) or Mike Grella, 561-746-2223 (Jupiter Inlet District)
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) and the Jupiter Inlet District are installing
navigational aids to mark new or enhance awareness of existing
channels and are replacing signs marking the state-adopted manatee
protection zones within the North Fork and Northwest Fork of the
The agencies should complete the work by early
February. The FWC, the Jupiter Inlet District and the Florida
Inland Navigation District provided funding for this project.
State regulations within these areas of the river
provide for a higher boat speed inside the marked navigational
channel and a "slow speed" restriction outside the marked
"The FWC has maintained that, absent the marked
navigational channel, boat operations should be slow-speed,
minimum-wake," said Capt. David Schaeffer of the FWC's Division of
Law Enforcement. "The new navigational aids will more accurately
post the current speed zones. After completion of the project and
an educational period, officers will begin issuing warnings or
citations for speed violations within regulatory zones."
The Jupiter Inlet District is installing aids to
mark a navigational channel within the North Fork of the river,
located in Palm Beach County, extending from the Tequesta Bridge
north to a location approximately at the Martin County line. The
segment of the river from the Martin County line north will be
posted as "Slow Speed Minimum Wake Remainder of North Fork."
On the Northwest Fork of the river in Palm Beach
County, the Jupiter Inlet District will add navigational channel
markers between Red Channel Marker No. 16 and a location south of
the Martin County line. It will establish a marked navigational
channel from the Island Way Bridge north to the boundary of
Jonathan Dickinson State Park. The area north of the state park
boundary will remain posted as "idle-speed, no-wake."
"Clearly, marked zones improve operator
compliance," Schaeffer said. "It's all about slowing down boat
traffic in congested areas that are frequented by manatees, to
protect the safety of the boating public and manatees."
A boat is operating at "slow-speed, minimum-wake"
when it is fully off plane and completely settled into the water.
The boat must be moving at a reasonable and prudent speed and
making little or no wake. If a boat is on plane, in the process of
coming off plane and settling into the water, coming up to plane or
creating an excessive wake or other hazardous condition, the
operator would be violating a "slow-speed, minimum-wake"
For more information on this project, visit
MyFWC.com/Boating and click "North and Northwest Forks of the