The Boating and Waterways Section within the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Division of Law Enforcement, works to improve boating access by identifying potential sites for new boating access facilities; identifying facilities in need of renovation or expansion; constructing and renovating boating access facilities on state-owned lands; and administering grants programs for boating access and boating-related activities.
The Sport Fish Restoration - Boat Access Program (formerly known as the Dingell-Johnson (D-J) or Wallop-Breaux) is a "user pays, user benefits" program seeking to improve boating opportunities. Federal funds are collected from taxes on fishing tackle and motor fuels and import duties on tackle and yachts. The money is returned to appropriate state agencies for research, management and development activities that deal with sport fish and boating access. Federal law requires that 15 percent of these funds go to building and repairing boat ramps.
Since the mid-1950s, the Commission has built boat ramps in the state that are available to the boating public free of charge. Most sites are open 24 hours a day. The Commission currently maintains over 200 access sites, and new sites are being added to our program each year. Due to the public need for access, the Commission staffs a full-time crew to handle construction and repair.
The Sport Fish Restoration logo now appears on fishing tackle and many other products, the purchase of which supports the program. You will also see the logo on boat ramp signs, brochures and other items produced for you with these funds. This program has been one of the most highly acclaimed of Federal/State cooperative ventures since its inception in 1950 and has greatly expanded in the past decade to benefit anglers and boaters.
An organization devoted to the acquisition, development and administration of public recreational boating facilities nationwide, SOBA provides a forum for the exchange of views, ideas, concepts and experiences related to all aspects of recreational boating facilities. Visit the SOBA website for more information.
Boating and Angling Guides Since 1992, the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute has been producing a statewide series of educational boating and angling guides that also provide information about Florida ecosystems.
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