Boaters upset over proposed Port Canaveral cruise terminal

Author: Justin Warmoth, Reporter, jwarmoth@wkmg.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:06:00 AM EST   Updated On: Aug 14 2013 07:10:21 PM EDT
PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. -

Port Canaveral officials recently approved building a $75 million cruise terminal and parking garage where the popular Freddie Patrick Park boat ramp is located.

"It's a way of life. They are taking an American way of life away from people," said concerned boater Bob Brehove.

The relocation is forcing fisherman and recreational boaters to find a new place to launch their boats. Chesnee Cogswell is a frequent user of the boat ramp.

"We have been fishing here our whole lives, for generations and to have it taken away like that is pretty messed up," he said.

"A lot of anglers are going to end up resorting to going up to New Smyrna and Daytona and taking a lot of revenue that Port Canaveral was getting," said fisherman Bob Levine.

Port Authority said they are looking at 6 alternative locations for replacement boat ramps, but boaters are concerned that all of the proposed locations are east of the Port Canaveral locks.

"If they take that away from us and we have to go through the locks that adds another 45 minutes onto our trip," said Cogswell.

Port officials say the new cruise terminal will bring in 2,000 jobs and boost the local economy up to $250 million annually.

Canaveral Port Authority will hold two public meetings Thursday. They are asking the community for input on where a new boat ramp should be located.

The first meeting begins at 9 a.m., followed by a second session at 5:30.