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WHEREAS, section 252.38(3)(a), Florida Statutes, gives political subdivisions the authority to declare and enact a State of Local Emergency for a period of up to seven days, thereby waiving the procedures and formalities otherwise required of the political subdivision by law; and

WHEREAS, on March 1, 2020, the Governor of Florida issued Executive Order Number 20-51, directing the State Health Officer and Surgeon General to declare a Public Health Emergency due to the discovery of COVID-19/novel Coronavirus in Florida; and

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, the Governor of Florida issued Executive Order Number 20-52, declaring a State of Emergency for the state of Florida related to COVID-19/novel Coronavirus; and

WHEREAS, on March 12, 2020, the County Mayor declared a State of Emergency for all of Miami-Dade County; and

WHEREAS, COVID-19/novel Coronavirus poses a health risk to Miami-Dade County residents, particularly elderly residents and those who are immunosuppressed or otherwise have high-risk medical conditions; and

WHEREAS, minimization of contact is necessary to avoid risk of COVID-19 infection for the residents of the County; and

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued guidance entitled “15 Days to Slow the Spread,” encouraging social distancing and maintaining a six (6) foot separation between residents to slow the spread of infection and that events with more than ten attendees either be cancelled or held virtually; and

WHEREAS, the CDC guidelines are based upon the amount of community spread within a community and become more stringent where there is minimal to moderate or substantial community spread; and

WHEREAS, the CDC guidelines encourage the sharing of messages for those who are sick to not attend group gatherings; and

WHEREAS, recreational boaters frequently engage in a practice known as “rafting” where several boats are tied together or otherwise attached within five feet of each other allowing passengers to easily move from boat to boat; and

WHEREAS, section 21-287 of the Code of Miami-Dade County (“the Code”) permits up to five boats to engage in rafting within Miami-Dade County provided such group of rafting boats maintains at least 30 feet of separation from any other groups of rafting boats; and

WHEREAS, the rafting of several boats and groups of boats authorized by section 21-287 of the Code provides a means for social gathering that could potentially spread COVID-19/novel Coronavirus; and

WHEREAS, section 8B-7(2)(k) of the Code authorizes the County Mayor to issue an order closing to the public any or all public places including public ways, parks, beaches, amusement areas and public buildings; and

WHEREAS, sections 8B-7(2)(e) and (o) of the Code authorize the County Mayor to limit the movement of persons inside Miami-Dade County in order to safeguard life and health,

THEREFORE, as County Mayor of Miami-Dade County, I hereby order:

  1. Rafting is hereby prohibited notwithstanding anything to the contrary in section 21-287 of the Code.
  2. The practice of rafting prohibited in paragraph 1 of this order is defined the same as in section 21-287(b)(2) of the Code to mean boats or vessels that are tied together or otherwise attached to other boats when the proximity between each boat is five (5) feet or less with the term boat or vessel being further defined in Florida Statutes section 327.02(46) to include every description of watercraft used for transportation.
  3. This order does not prohibit the tying together or attaching of one boat to another boat
  4. for the limited purpose of rescuing passengers from an emergency or towing an inoperable boat.  This order does not apply to boats on the Florida Intracoastal Waterway.
  5. This order shall expire upon the expiration of the existing Miami-Dade County State of Local Emergency, except that if such State of Local Emergency is extended, this order shall also be deemed to extend for the duration of such extension. This order may be cancelled earlier by action of the County Mayor.
  6. This order shall be effective as of effective 9:00 a.m. on March 21, 2020.
  7. The County Mayor may amend the provisions of paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 by written notice to the County Clerk.







  1. This order shall be provided to all appropriate media consistent with the requirements of section 8B-7(2)(n) of the Code.