Danny Alvarez: Joe Biden administration wants to shut down Port Tampa Bay, 3 others and fine boaters $20K for boating over 11 MPH

Rep. Alvarez
To be honest, NOAA’s proposed rules smell fishy. 

The Joe Biden administration is taking draconian steps that will effectively shutter four of Florida’s Gulf Coast seaports, and fine boaters, including commercial fishermen who travel Gulf of Mexico waters, $20,000 for boating over 11 miles per hour.

At the urging of some extreme environmental groups, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) has proposed the most restrictive regulations on all navigable waters in the Gulf of Mexico to protect about 50 “newly” discovered whales.

The whales, known as the Rice’s whales, is a seldom-seen whale that NOAA’s scientists state only traverses U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico region. Under their proposal, boat traffic, including cargo ships that transport food, fuel and medical supplies to Gulf Coast seaports, would be forbidden from traveling at night, and daytime boating speeds would be limited to 10 knots – that’s about 11 MPH.

The effect would be a near shutdown of Port Tampa Bay, SeaPort Manatee, Port Panama City and Port of Pensacola.

To be honest, NOAA’s proposed rules smell fishy.

It’s difficult for me to see how potentially jeopardizing Florida’s public safety, our nation’s security, and Florida’s economy will be friendly to our state’s environment. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it appears to be more about politics than protecting a “new” whale – a whale that no third-party organization has verified as a new species.

As a member of the Florida House of Representatives, my support of Florida’s environment is solid and longstanding. I recognize that Florida’s natural resources are one of our greatest attributes that must be vigorously protected, but this is political overreach targeting Florida and our stances in the past.

The proposed rule issued by NOAA cites a paucity of flawed scientific evidence and unsubstantiated sources to support their draconian efforts. Unfortunately, this is not the first time the Biden Administration has used overarching or unreliable evidence. The National Marine Fisheries (NMFS) branch of NOAA has had its efforts to prohibit fishing activities by Maine lobstermen and survey efforts on marine mammals in the Gulf rejected by the courts.

Now is not the time for a federal agency to seek overarching regulations on the entire Gulf of Mexico. We have seen what happens when U.S. infrastructure is not prepared for changes in supply chain logistics. Cargo traffic continues to grow in the Gulf of Mexico to ensure that U.S. and Florida businesses are prepared to meet the needs of all U.S. citizens. Cargo ships travel 24 hours a day, and Florida’s fuel is transported via cargo vessels. Florida’s fuel supply will be put in jeopardy by these efforts. This will be especially troubling following hurricanes and tropical storms.

Now is not the time for NOAA (or the Biden administration) to jeopardize Florida’s environment with unverified science and highly restrictive regulations. Instead, NOAA should engage with Florida’s seaports and our state’s fishing industry, to learn how we can work together to protect both the environment and our state.


Rep. Danny Alvarez serves House District 69, which includes much of Hillsborough County.

Guest Author


  • Lisa

    October 9, 2023 at 7:55 pm

    Please stop posting lies.

  • Mr. Haney

    October 10, 2023 at 5:56 am

    Republicans are lying cowards

  • Rick Whitaker

    October 10, 2023 at 7:40 am

    who is sponsoring alvarez’ comments. i saw cracks in his statement that sounds like propaganda. 11 mph is safer and still quite fast in the water. when i was in the navy my ship crossed the atlantic at 7 mph. it was a slow bulky lst that can’t go fast, but still crossed the atlantic. let’s hope alvarez is held to fact finding..

  • Siggy Jade

    October 10, 2023 at 9:17 am

    Lying liars lie. Republicans are liars. This is proof. They have to make shit up, or no one listens.

    • John Laing

      October 23, 2023 at 3:22 pm

      Tou are correct Sggy Jade. Made up shit for sure.

  • Donald Tracy

    October 10, 2023 at 11:25 am

    As usual, the “I need the Government to babysit me and control my life and that of everyone in the country” IDIOTS are running off at the mouth and showing their ignorance and intolerance. As long as they get what THEY want, they don’t care who or what is harmed, or how badly.

  • John Laing

    October 23, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    Danny Alvarez:
    Prove that Joe Bidon wants to close Port Tampa Bay and 3 others. Proof; not political bullshit. You make quite a leap from an agency proposed rule change to closing Ports, jeopardizing floridas public safety and harming our national security. Go ahead Danny. Try to stay in the real world and not your fantasy bullshit. This is a proposed rule that will no doubt be challenged in court if necessary.
    I’ll bet you a dollar Tampa’s ports will be open next year and ten years from now.

  • John Laing

    October 23, 2023 at 3:20 pm

    I agree with you Rick.

Comments are closed.


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