At its December meeting in St. Augustine, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a draft proposal that would maintain high-quality snorkeling and diving opportunities at the Blue Heron Bridge/Phil Foster County Park in Palm Beach County. The Commissioners also approved expanding the previously proposed closed area to include additional waters north of the park.
The changes, if approved at the February Commission meeting, would:
- Prohibit the collection and possession of marine life fishery species (species collected for and managed for the tropical aquarium trade) within the park and surrounding waters (prohibitions would not apply to other fishing activities, such as hook-and-line fishing).
The changes would allow direct transit of marine life species harvested outside the closed area through the closed area so long as the vessel does not stop. The changes would also allow landing by motorized vessel of those species collected elsewhere at the park boat ramp and docks.
Further, staff will evaluate all future Special Activities Licenses to determine if collection from the Blue Heron Bridge dive site is necessary or if another location can be used. Special Activities Licenses authorize certain activities that are otherwise not allowed under current recreational and commercial harvest regulations and are often issued for scientific research, education or public exhibition purposes.