County Dock Worker Program Benefits Recreational Boaters
1) Sue Waterman, a local retiree, works at Fort Island Gulf Beach and has been with the
Dock Workers Program for four seasons.
2) John Wilson greets a boater at Fort Island Trail Park. This is the retiree’s second
season with the Dock Workers Program.
3) Jamie Ernst and David Flaim work together at MacRae’s of Homosassa’s busy boat launch.
Jamie, a first timer, is new to the area; David has rejoined the program for a second season.
NOT PICTURED: Mike Cunha, second season dock worker, who covers busy weekends at the ramps.
Citrus County’s scallop season is in full swing, which means increased traffic at county boat
ramps. When launching from MacRae’s of Homosassa, Fort Island Trail Park, and Fort Island Gulf
Beach, citizens and visitors can expect to see the friendly faces and bright yellow shirts of the
Parks & Recreation division’s dock workers. These part-time staff members are always eager to help
and provide service to those using the ramps during peak hours.
The Dock Workers Program was established in 2013 as a cooperative effort between the Citrus County
Visitors & Convention Bureau (VCB) and the Parks & Recreation division. The workers are employed
for 12 hours a week as casual labor during the busiest part of scallop season, from July through
Labor Day. Initially, only one boat dock was staffed through the program, but two additional docks
were added in 2017.
The dock workers’ primary focus is to ensure public safety at the docks, piers, and walkways and
assist in maintaining smooth transitions between launches and overall order. They are also great
listeners and can provide important information to boaters on topics such as parking, scalloping
reminders/dos and don’ts, and hotel, restaurant, and entertainment suggestions.
One topic that has been popular among boaters this year has been the upcoming boat launch fees for
MacRae’s of Homosassa, Fort Island Trail Park, Fort Island Gulf Beach, and Hernando Beach. Signs
have been posted at the ramps to let users know that the fees are expected to begin being collected
in January 2022; the dock workers receive questions daily about how much the fees will be and what
they will be used for. Says John Wilson, who works at the Fort Island Trail Park boat launch, “The
number one question I get from citizens is: will there be more parking?”