Florida Could Require License for Canoes, Kayaks: Report - NBC 6 South Florida

Florida Could Require License for Canoes, Kayaks: Report

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    Officials in Florida are considering requiring licenses for kayaks, canoes and other small craft that don't require motors.

    A citizen panel assembled by state boating authorities are meeting in Orlando Wednesday to discuss the change, which could soon mean registration and fees, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

    The panel would make a recommendation to the Boating Advisory Council, which reports to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    One member of the panel said the revenue from the licensing of non-motorized boats could help secure federal grants and pay for law enforcement, search and rescue, and other expenses.

    "I would say it would be pretty darn reasonable: less than $20 a year," William Griswold, a retired Coast Guard officer, told the paper.

    Others say the registration and fees are unnecessary, adding that compared to motor boats there's little danger, little pollution and almost no harm to wildlife.

    "It's all about the money," said Brack Barker, a kayaking guide and member of the panel.

    In a statement Wednesday, FWC executive director Nick Wiley said the organization doesn't want to increase fees for non-motorized boating.

    "The FWC appreciates the work of this advisory group, but we are not supportive of increasing fees on Floridians or visitors who participate in non-motorized boating," Wiley said. "The FWC greatly values our boating community and will continue to work hard to keep Florida’s standing as the boating capital of the world without increasing costs and fees."

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