Many marine protected areas, marinas and other coastlines are experiencing an influx of boats, yachts, and more and more mega yachts to their areas. The number of vessels that anchor in these areas have caused enormous damage to coral reefs and grasses that keep the coastline safe during a storm. In order to cut down on the damage to the coral and sea grass we encourage the installation of mooring buoys and to replace the coral and grasses that have been destroyed we suggest also installing our eco habitats surrounding the mooring anchors.
Physical damage to coral reefs from anchors is a well documented marine resource protection problem. When boats attach their anchors to a reef, the action of attachment and the pressure on the chains caused by swell underwater can rip reefs apart and destroy delicate marine life. By far the most effective way to reduce damage is the installation of mooring buoys for anchoring boats.
Any area that receives boat traffic can benefit from mooring buoys, which can be integrated into a comprehensive resource protection management strategy. In addition to reducing anchor damage to living corals, buoys can act as an important management tool, and can also serve as a convenient way for skippers to secure their vessels while enjoying the unique coral reef communities.
All mooring buoy systems consist of three elements: a permanent fixture on the sea bottom; a floating buoy on the water surface; and something in between to attach the two. Sea bottom characteristics usually dictate what type of system is most suitable. The Halas system is most successful in areas with flat, solid bedrock, shown RIGHT
The Manta Ray on the other hand is recommended for areas of sand, coral rubble, or a combination of bottom types.
"Mooring buoys immediately benefit marine resource protection by reducing damage to the sea bottom caused by anchors and associated chain sweep."
In order to meet the objective of resource protection over the long term, a mooring buoy plan needs to be implemented to protect the resource. This entails having an analysis of the current use patterns and potential resource damage, determining the concentration of mooring buoys and the acceptable number for the location. Establishing an enforcement policy and cost to anchor at the mooring buoy. The manager needs to consider all ecosystem components in planning for resource protection.
Seagrasses and Kelp perform numerous functions: Stabilizing the sea bottom, Providing food and habitat for other marine organisms, maintaining water quality and supporting local economies.
Seagrasses are submerged flowering plants found in shallow marine waters, such as bays and lagoons and along the continental shelf. A vital part of the marine ecosystem due to their productivity level, seagrasses provide food, habitat, and nursery areas for numerous vertebrate and invertebrate species. The vast biodiversity and sensitivity to changes in water quality inherent in seagrass communities makes seagrasses an important species to help determine the overall health of coastal ecosystems. http://myfwc.com/research/habitat/seagrasses/information/importance/
An anchor can damage an extensive area of seagrass beds by ripping large divots out of the bottom and scouring the bottom with chain as the boat swings. These sensitive sites should not be ignored when planning mooring buoy and anchoring guidelines. For example, aerial flights over a reef and associated seagrass beds can efficiently survey large areas to determine where boats typically concentrate
Local commercial dive operators, tour group leaders, fishermen, and local conservation organizations can be helpful in assisting the manager with identifying areas in need of protection. These groups often have considerable experience on and in the water and can be a valuable source of local knowledge and expertise. In addition, local users are more likely to comply with mooring buoy regulations if they are included in the planning from the start.
Recent DEMA Show in Orlando Florida featured Reef Life Mooring Stations in the booth with EMI, Environmental Mooring International, founded by John and Judy Halas (See More)
David Foster with AUC American Underwater Contractors is the Super Yacht Mooring Specialist.
Contact John and Judy Halas for Mooring Station expertise: http://www.emimoorings.com/
David Foster Global Yacht Expertise: firstname.lastname@example.org
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