Thursday, March 24, 2011

Alachua County Airboat Noise Limits Could be Overturned by State Law Proposed by State Senator Steve Oelrich

Airboat noise  < click here to hear! 
Ever been overwhelmed or disturbed by prop blast on what was going to be a quiet kayak paddle, while fishing on your boat, during a lake-side walk, or just while lounging on your back porch?  Well, some folks in central Florida have had enough:
  • The Sierra Club Suwannee/St. Johns Group and Quiet Lakes of  Alachua County (, collected the necessary petitions last spring, placed a proposed nighttime curfew (7pm-7am) on the November ballot, and won the vote for the ordinance, 56% to 44%.(38,000 voters); the ordinance went into effect on 1/1/11.
  • In the first week of the 2011 legislative session in Tallahassee, state Senator Steve Oelrich filed a bill that essentially would nullify the hard-earned ordinance. The proposed statute overrules the voter-approved ordinance -- and raises the noise level allowed for airboats limited in a prior statute, from 90 dBa to 107 dBa. The Senator and ex-sheriff stated on TV that this bill will, "reduce the noise allowed for airboats." Hello!?
  • Comparative loudness is tough to represent.  But most of us know what is really loud noise.  For a reference table, click here.
  • A detailed talking points essay is posted on the Sierra Club Florida website,, (click thru from the home page), along with contact information for the politicians and committees.
All concerned citizens are implored to communicate with these politicians who are attempting to trammel HOME RULE for Florida's local governments -- and who seem to have no sensibility for quiet in nature.
Whitey Markle, Conservation Chair