Safe Anchor Mooring Stations Protect Coral Reefs
Builds Fish Colonies
Oceanic Marine Habitats Grow Coral & Fish
Foundations, DIVE communities, yacht harbors, and marinas
in island or coastal regions want to protect delicate corals, seagrass and fish habitats from dragging anchors.
Oceans Require Action Today, Backed up by Science
Buy A coral growth habitat today with or without a Safe Anchor Mooring System.
The Hazelett Elastic Mooring System, connected to a block or Helix screw anchor, floats above the seabed with a minimal environmental footprint. Hazelett Marine is involved in several eelgrass restoration projects.
Point Load Reductions
Securing vessels with Hazelett Elastic Rodes will reduce point loads at connection points (from docks to anchors and from deck cleats to anchors) by approximately fifty percent.
Wind Load Reductions
Boats secured with Hazelett Elastic Rodes stay pointed directly into the wind with a more constant, gentle pull.
Increased Mooring Density
Hazelett Elastic Mooring Systems can be set up with as little as one-to-one scope at high water. More than twice as many boats can be moored in the same square footage compared to boats on chain with three-to-one scope.
More Gentle Dock Motion
Docks and wave attenuators anchored with Hazelett Elastic Rodes are tensioned at low tide, so they stay put at low tide. As the tide rises, the elastics stretch. Docks and wave attenuators secured with Hazelett Elastic Rodes have a more gentle motion and are easier and safer to walk on in rough weather.
NO Anchors in Coral
Objectives for Safe Anchorage Mooring Stations: Island or Coastal Community Project:
The primary objectives of a small scale Mooring Buoy and Reef Protection Project are: 1) Placement and maintenance of approximately 75 to 250 mooring buoy sites, with coral and reef fish habitats for use by local boats, including both fisherman and recreational dive operators. 2) Documentation of the selected sites and collection of baseline data for buoy locations having a high potential to suffer impacts due to recreational diving and other activities. 3) Development of a general program to provide on-going monitoring and data collection activities. 4) On-going collection of environmental and reef status data . 5) provision of educational materials to populace and visiting recreational divers. REEF LIFE is proud to be a Global Partner: https://hazelettmarine.com/projects-partners/
Foundations purchase both mooring anchorage systems, as well as reef-fish habitats and use as a funding opportunity for their donors, so they can "rebuild the oceanic communities" Please Contact Reef Life sales for purchasing, shipping and donor recognition plaques and certificates. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ongoing support of these programs will be provided by a combination of marina owners, local dive operators, representatives of the Island or Community State Dept. of Marine Resources, NGOs, and international volunteers, citizen scientists, and reef researchers.
Project Status Reports Quarterly: Habitats planted with farmed corals will be monitored by cameras ongoing, as well as visuals.
Projects work best when monitoring protocols are being applied and data collection is continuing. Future monitoring teams will continue to develop video and photographic records, transect surveys, visibility data, water quality and other observational data consistent with protocols developed by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Reef Check and Universities, Researchers who may be running assessments on planted corals such as the coral farmers we will engage to plant farmed coral on these habitats.
Teams will integrate protocols designed to collect robust statistical data, as modified to address specific issues identified by local and Governmental Marine Resources. Collected data will be collated, entered into an archival database, analyzed and provided to the Dept. of Marine Resources and other researchers. Photo and video records will be processed in a manner consistent with its future use for comparative temporal studies.
We need to protect the ecosystems that support not only the dive industry, but all maritime industries, and of course, an incredible amount of fish, invertebrate, plant, and microbial life.
As divers and snorkelers, we can damage reefs in any number of ways. We could accidentally touch the coral, stressing it out with our skin oils, or kick it and break a piece off with our fins. Our trash could make its way onto the coral colonies, smothering and killing the whole colony. We could use chemicals (ie. sunscreens) that leak into the water and stress already stressed corals. We could place a camera on a sponge to help steady that one great photo, or grab onto the reef to steady ourselves. We could do innumerable things to smash or otherwise kill the reef we’re so drawn to. But there’s another way we impact the reef, and it kills the reef significantly more than anything mentioned above.
Anchors are used to keep boats in place. Seems innocent enough. That makes it easy to keep divers in one place. But with any kind of wind, wave, or current action, the boat will pull on the anchor and anchor chain which can do irreparable damage to reefs, sea grass, and any benthic substrate. Even if an anchor is placed away from coral, the bouncing and pulling action of the boat on the anchor chain can rip, smash, or overturn coral in its wake. Either can take out in minutes a coral that has taken 20+ years to grow. They also smash the tips off of coral colonies, leaving white circles of skeleton exposed. More often than not, this ends up killing the coral fragments.
While it might not seem like a huge loss for one coral colony to be crushed or dredged out, commonly used dive sites can see several boat anchors an hour during high seasons.
If even only 5% of the reef is damaged by these anchors, and the reef manages to grow at an average of 5% a year, the anchor damage is already negating any growth of the ecosystem. But usually anchors do far more than 5% damage. It isn’t unusual to find more than 20% damage along coral reefs from anchors and anchor chains. This also affects areas surrounding the reefs; in high tourist seasons, anchors have been reportedly destroyed over 70% of seagrass beds.
This is why the installation of mooring buoys is so important. Mooring buoys are permanent structures rooted into the sediment to which boats can tie up, eliminating the need to anchor each time they visit a popular site. Mooring buoys can be tricky to implement though. They require the cooperation of local and sometimes federal governments, fishing communities, and commercial stakeholders which can be complicated. Communities are sometimes hesitant to install mooring buoys out of fear that fishermen will have easy access to the very fish the mooring is trying to protect. Inversely, the fishermen themselves are against the idea because it would interfere with their nets. Additionally, the buoys are often stolen for a variety of reasons.
Though, the effect can be a difference of life vs death. Mooring up can eliminate anchor damage to sensitive bottoms. But, if that isn’t an option where you dive, consider carefully placing the anchor by hand, using a sand anchor and swimming to the site, and using good anchor etiquette. Use only as much chain as you need to hold the vessel safely, motor towards the anchor to lift it vertically through the water column, and keep watch to make sure it isn’t dragging.
Wonderful dive sites will only stay wonderful for as long as we care for them. Negligence in any regard can quickly and irreversibly destroy entire underwater communities. Some days it feels like we have little say in what is happening to the environment, but there are aspects that we have direct control over. Reduction of anchor damage is possible and would make a much bigger difference than you may initially believe.