Editor & Publisher
Longboat Key officials voted to restrict boat traffic around Beer Can Island by creating swimming zones.
The action was spawned by residents on Longboat upset over years of boat parties and loud activity, that activity has been exacerbated since Beer Can Island has grown and now sprawls under the entire North End of Longboat Pass Bridge.
In the 6-0 vote last week, the Longboat Key Town Commission approved two designated swimming areas around Beer Can Island, also known as Greer Island. Boating in those new areas is now prohibited and violators can face a $250 fine for the first offense and a $500 fine thereafter.
The two designated areas are along the shoreline on the southeastern side of the island at Longboat Pass Bridge and the Land’s End dock, which is private property. The new areas will be marked by buoys in the water.
The Town of Longboat Key issued the following statement: “The purpose is to protect public bathers that bathe, wade, lounge and congregate in and on the shallow waters of this portion of Greer Island from dangers caused by increased vessel operations along the beach. These areas will be limited to beach goers, waders, kayakers, paddleboarders and other non-motorized vessels.
Buoys, marking the motorized vessels restricted areas, will be installed prior to the 4th of July weekend. Boaters are advised to be aware of these areas and that violations will carry a $250 penalty for a 1st offense and $500 for any subsequent offenses.”