Council Trying To Fix Speed Limit Signs

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Early this year members of the town of Fort Myers Beach Town Council started receiving complaints that speed limit signs in the waters around the island were changed and boaters were speeding through areas that were known for Manatee.

In late 2019 signs were changed from No Wake/Idle-Slow Speed to 25 MPH. Since then the council has been working with the state to try to rectify the issue and get the speed limit back down to protect the wildlife.

In addition to working with the state, the council is working on passing an ordinance that would include a manatee idle speed zone in Mantanzas Pass.

The ordinance the town is considering can be viewed HERE. There was a first reading of the ordinance on August 17th. A second reading will be held September 21st at 5:00PM.

Lee County led the state of Florida in manatee deaths during 2019 with 144. There were also 182 deaths in 2018.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I completely agree with Steve Duello’s comment regarding law enforcement. It is one element to have laws on the books but the law does no good unless the police are there to enforce them.

  2. In addition to protecting manatees, idle speed protects the shoreline from erosion caused by excessive waves, and even more importantly it protects the safety of kayakers who find themselves in danger of capsizing in the wakes of the boats that exceed not only the idle speed but even the 25 mph limit.

  3. The other big issue regarding manatee safety is the ongoing problem of boaters ignoring existing zones and speeding through with no repercussions from law enforcement. Compared to past years there has been a significant reduction in water patrol coverage by Lee County and the State. It doesn’t do much good to create manatee or speed zones if no one is there to enforce the rules.

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