Columbus Day Weekend in Biscayne National Park 2015

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Date: October 8, 2015
Contact: Matt Johnson, 786-335-3679

HOMESTEAD, Fla. --- Biscayne National Park is partnering with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies during Columbus Day weekend, October 10-12, 2015. As part of the effort to protect park resources and the safety and welfare of visitors, reduced navigational speeds will be enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard in the Intracoastal Waterway. Columbus Day weekend is traditionally the most dangerous weekend of the year for those visiting the park by boat.

“We hope that visitors safely enjoy this national treasure over the holiday weekend,” said Superintendent Brian Carlstrom. ”The wonders of the park are best experienced safely and responsibly.”

Special regulations are in effect during Columbus Day weekend. A 15 knot speed limit will be enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard in the Intracoastal Waterway from Rickenbacker Causeway to Elliott Key. Boats are directed into a marked anchorage area on the northwest side of Elliott Key. No more than five boats may be rafted together in this area. A minimum of 100 feet is required between single vessels or groups. This allows access for emergency services.

There is zero tolerance for boating under the influence of alcohol, excessive noise, possessing illegal drugs or promoting unauthorized commercial activities. Failure to obey the rules may result in arrest, fines up to $5,000, and the risk of injury, death or property and resource damage. Visitors are encouraged to maintain proper safety and navigation gear, use a sober skipper, prevent littering and not operate boats at night. Boaters should be alert for swimmers or those operating boats under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Safety inspections and “boating under the influence” checks are conducted throughout the weekend by a variety of law enforcement agencies.

The park is hosting a special event in commemoration of Lancelot Jones Day from 11:00 a.m. to Noon on Monday, October 12, 2015, at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center. State and county representatives and commissioners are joining park staff to speak about the importance of the Jones family to the park and the region.

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Last updated: October 8, 2015

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Sir Lancelot Jones Way

Homestead, FL 33033


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