Nansea Bright

Published: Apr 18, 2014 6:06 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 18, 2014 6:20 PM EDT

 

Naples, Fla., - Its a war on the water.  Homeowners in Moorings Bay want the area deemed a manatee zone and some boaters are furious.

 

The move comes after a judge recently struck down a city ordinance regulating how fast boaters can go.  Now, boaters can cruise up to 30mph.   Phillip White, an avid boater, couldn't be happier.

 

"Just the benefit of getting to the Gulf in a reasonable amount of time," said White.

 

Homeowners and city leaders are so concerned it will cause accidents and ruin their property.

 

"We're not going to change things different from what they were," said City Natural Resource Director, Dr. Michael Bauer.  "We're gonna try to protect those areas that were slow anyway."

 

  

 

In the past nine years, city documents show there's been 75 manatee sightings in Moorings Bay.

 

"I've run into groups of manatee 20 strong and seen at least 15 of them with prop scars on their backs," says Captain Rick Radcliff with Naples Marina Excursions.  "So they come in contact with them quite often."

 

    

 

But, White says this move is more to slow boaters down, not to save Manatees.

 

"We have a right to the waterways and there haven't been accidents here because of 30mph," said White.

 

The proposal first has to be approved by city and state leaders.