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CCA Florida issues grassroots alert

ENP subject of aids to navigation issue.
ENP subject of aids to navigation issue.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Sometimes it is very important that the public get involved with marine resource management and safety decisions. A new proposal to remove or transfer ownership of Aids to Navigation in Everglades National Park is one such time.

It seems in reason years that anglers and boaters are called on continuously for input into one marine issue or another. Sometimes it even seems that their voice is not being heard. Nevertheless, here is another example where managing officials are asking for input from those that use the resource.

Below is the CCA’s Grassroots Alert:


The USCG is asking for public comment related the removal of channel markers from Coot Bay to Little Shark River Entrance. The USCG is in the process of making a determination of transferring the markers to National Park Service ownership as well as considering complete removal of markers in the backcountry from Coot Bay to the mouth of the Little Shark River



Public Comment Period Closes:

October 1, 2014 

USCG Notice to Mariners, District 7, July 29, 2014

The USCG is considering a proposal to transfer ownership of a number of Aids to Navigation located within Everglades National Park to the National Park Service. In addition, the USCG is considering the removal of all Aids to Navigation from Coot Bay to near the mouth of Little Shark River, also within Everglades National Park.

All comments should be emailed to: with Everglades National Park as the subject line and be received by 01 October 2014. Comments can also be mailed to Commander (DPW), Seventh Coast Guard District 909 SE 1st Avenue (STE 406) Brickell Federal Plaza Bldg Miami FL 33131.

Direct POC: Andrew Haley

USCG District 7 Waterway Management

Phone: (305) 415-6750

Whether you are avid and frequent visitor to Whitewater Bay in Everglades National Park , an occasional Park visitor or if know know that one day you will be, this is an important issue. This becomes a critical issue when considering access has been reduced to a mere fraction of what it once was in Everglades National Park as a result of the demolition of the motel, camp sites at Flamingo being shut down, the chickees going into disrepair and the potential for extended pole and troll zones in the Florida Bay. The channel markers leading from Coot Bay, near the interior ramp at Flamingo, to the entrance of Little Shark River on the extreme southwest coast of Florida have been providing access and safety for all park visitors seeking to enjoy the interior estuary and accessing the riverine system. These markers have been around for many, many decades in a place where markers are invaluable for safe navigation through the intricate maze of mangrove islands and creeks where much of the backcountry can look the same.

In recent years, the USCG has allowed the markers to fall into disrepair to the point where many regular visitors now avoid the channel due to the potential for submerged piles below the waterline increasing the potential for collisions. Now that the markers have degraded to such a state, that the USCG, the agency responsible for their decline is e now attempting to discontinue service that has played a vital safety roll for all on water activities in the backcountry. Those that are beginners fishing the backcountry, those that are enjoying the houseboats on an infrequent basis and those that canoe the Wilderness Waterway from Chokoloskee to Flamingo depend on these markers to assist with confirmation of their location in this vast part of the Park. This is a boater and paddle craft safety issue.

Please send comments to the email address above in support of the USCG continuing to maintain the markers from Coot Bay to the entrance of Little Shark River. For more information please contact Trip Aukeman CCA Director of Advocacy at

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