A coastal lawmaker says, Georgia is losing business from boaters who want to take up floating residences in the state. Woodbine Republican Jason Spencer introduced a bill in the state legislature to allow live-aboard boats. Georgia outlawed long-term boat stays 20 years ago out of concern for the human waste that some boaters dump in the water.
Brunswick city officials are getting tired of paying to raise sunken and abandoned shrimp boats. Two years after paying about $70,000 to raise a derelict trawler at the city dock, last month another one sank. Taxpayers end up footing the bill when shrimpers can't maintain their boats and can't insure or sell them.
Coastal water planners are set to vote this week on a regional plan to encourage less water use. The plan doesn't mandate conservation, but does support a five year old permitting process limiting how much water can be withdrawn from groundwater sources. The permits limit the Savannah-area to 2006 levels of water withdraws.
Georgia marina owners want state officials to ease rules on coastal boaters who stay awhile. Right now, if someone wants to live on a boat on Georgia's coast, they're effectively barred from staying for more than a month. A proposed rule change would help local business and make it easier for the state to control waste water discharges.
A legal settlement over endangered sea turtles in the Pacific could be a sign of things to come in the Atlantic. Conservation groups recently agreed with the National Marine Fisheries Management Service over new rules to protect the Pacific leatherback sea turtle. In the Atlantic, the same groups are petitioning the same officials for rules to protect the threatened Atlantic loggerhead.