September 18, 2014

National Park Service Soliciting Public Comments on Biscayne Bay

The National Park Service (NPS) is soliciting public input once more before finalizing a General Management Plan involving the future accessibility for recreational anglers and boaters in Biscayne National Park. 

Currently, NPS is reconsidering multiple alternatives on how to effectively manage Biscayne National Park.  After moving away from a previously offered marine reserve (Alternative 4) to a more accessible management plan, a direction strongly supported in a letter from the Florida Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus to the NPS late last year, the NPS is again considering closing a vast area to anglers and boaters. Unfortunately, Alternative 4 would ban recreational fishing in a 10,500 acre marine reserve, severely impacting recreational anglers and boaters, and the related local businesses that these activities support. 

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, along with our partners in the recreational boating and fishing community, opposes Alternative 4, as resource management and recreational activities are not mutually exclusive. Rather, Alternative 6 would offer science-based management coupled with robust access for angling and boating interests.

The National Park Service is hosting three public forums next week regarding the Biscayne National Park General Management Plan, listed below. Recreational anglers and boaters and all interested stakeholders are encouraged to attend and voice opposition to this marine reserve, and to help ensure Biscayne National Park remains accessible.

Comments can also be submitted online by visiting: 

Monday, September 22, 2014
Pioneer Florida Museum
826 South Krome Ave
Florida City, FL
Time: 6-9 p.m.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Newman Alumni Center at the University of Miami
6200 San Amaro Drive
Coral Gables, FL
Time: 6-9 p.m.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Holiday Inn 99701 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL
Time: 6-9 p.m.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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