Advocacy Action Center

Tell Georgia's Governor and the Department for Natural Resources to Fix Harmful Anchoring Law
The State of Georgia recently established anchoring laws and regulations that limit access for boaters and lock up public resources in the hands of wealthy waterfront landowners. These laws and regulations directly harm the boating and fishing public.
Georgia House Bill 201 was signed into law last year, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources then issued a rule under the law on December 30, 2019. The rule restricts overnight anchoring within 1,000 feet of any structure, such as public and private docks, wharves, bridges, piers and pilings, except in areas near marinas. This 1,000-foot offset needlessly eliminates anchorages all over the state. It will affect numerous boaters, many of whom transit Georgia waters as part of the annual migration along the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) that brings in millions of dollars to Georgia businesses.
There are no reasonable safety or waterway-management reasons for taking such a significant swath of state waters from the boating public.
Curiously, DNR did create so-called “Marina Zones” that allow boaters to anchor as close as 300 feet to marinas or facilities that provide fuel, dinghy access, provisions, vessel maintenance or other services, regardless of whether other structures exist nearby. This can only lead to the conclusion that the reason for the greater offset from private structures outside these zones was to provide waterfront landowners with near exclusive use and enjoyment of our public waterways.
Georgia’s waterways are a public resource held in public trust. Private landowners with waterfront property own their property – not the waterway. Georgia’s anchoring rule is unwarranted and unfair, and it results in a locking up of public resources in private ownership.
Please tell the Governor and the Department of Natural Resources that you oppose this anchoring rule.
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