Non-hunting Airboat Permit


Beginning in the summer of 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be allowing airboat operation in designated areas of the refuge by permit only.

Airboat Rules and Regulations

All refuge regulations are found on the Rules and Regulations page of this website.

Non-hunting Airboat Permit and Important Dates

Application Period: May 1-15, 2020
Permit Period: This permit is for airboat use only on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from July-November. Non-hunting airboat use will be temporarily suspended during duck and coot seasons that occur from July to November.
View map: Non-Hunting Airboat Permit Map
Number of permits available: Up to 10
Status: 2020 season in progress

Lottery Information

How to Apply
There will be an open period when applicants can apply for the airboat permit lottery. To be considered for the lottery, applicants must (1) successfully complete the Airboat Operator Course, (2) read the special conditions, and (3) fill and sign an Airboat Special Use Permit Application. Applicants can submit their application to the refuge by email or by mail at the contact information is listed below. The refuge must receive your permit application, or it must be postmarked, by the deadline listed. Lotteries will be conducted and successful applicants will be notified of the results. Applicants may submit one application per permit annually.

Acceptance Period
Successful applicants will be notified by refuge staff of lottery results. If a successful applicant does not accept the offer and pay for the permit by the deadline, the permit offer will be withdrawn and the permit will be made available to the next applicant on the waiting list.

Airboat Inspections
Once an applicant has been chosen in the airboat permit lottery, they must make an appointment to bring their airboat to the refuge for an airboat inspection. Airboat permits will only be issued to airboats that pass inspection. After the airboat passes inspection, the applicant will receive a decal to affix to their boat. View and/or print the Airboat Inspection List.

Fee Policies
Permit fee: $100 fee per permit annually. Fees are non-refundable. There is no cost to apply. A check or money order made payable to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepted.

Permits are non-transferable and are assigned to a specific boat. Each airboat operator must complete the online training course and be listed on the permit to operate an airboat on the refuge.

Requirements to Apply
Applicants must be 18 years of age before operating an airboat on the refuge.

No Show Policy
If a permittee forfeits their permit for any reason, the permit will not be refilled until the following open period to apply for the lottery.

Apply for a Non-hunting Airboat Permit

Follow the numbered instructions below to apply for an airboat permit for the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge:

1. Read the Special Conditions.

Download and read the Special Conditions for Non-hunting Airboat Permit

2. Take the Airboat Operator Course.

Click here to launch the Airboat Operator Course

3. Complete the application.
You may fill out the application online and submit via email, or you may download and print the application and submit by mail. If submitting by mail, please write legibly as this application will be used to notify you of the lottery results. By signing this special use permit application you are agreeing that you are the individual who took the Airboat Operator Course, and that you understand your responsibilities while operating an airboat in the Refuge.

Application instructions
Applicants need to complete only these boxes:
Boxes 2-8: Applicant information
Box 9: List of known subpermittees who have completed the Airboat Operator Course
Box 19: Acknowledge completion of Airboat Operator Course
Box 23b: Provide descriptions, license plate, or I.D. numbers of vehicles or boats to be used
Box 26: Sign and date

Download the Non-hunting Airboat Permit - Special Use Permit Application and submit application during the open period from May 1-15, 2020.

Once your application is complete, submit your application:

By email:
* Please type "Non-hunting Airboat Permit Application" in the subject line.

By mail:
A.R.M. Loxahatchee NWR
ATTN: Airboat Permit Application
10216 Lee Road
Boynton Beach, FL 33473

Please call 561-735-6020 if you have any questions.