Sunday, September 24, 2017

Palm Beach County Mooring Buoy Program

July 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 


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Boaters don’t always realize that they can be harming the environment while pursuing their favorite pastime. Even something as seemingly passive as anchoring a vessel can inflict damage on the ecosystem by disturbing the seabed, harming sea creatures, and damaging or destroying plants and coral.

Along with the potential environmental impact caused initially when an anchor is lowered or tossed, uncontrollable conditions — including wind, currents, and wakes from other boats — cause anchors to drag along, compounding and increasing damage.

Palm Beach County launched a Mooring Buoy Program in 2009 designed to create an organized and safe way for boaters to access areas near coral reefs without dropping their anchors. Thirty-eight moorings have been fixed to stainless steel anchors along the ocean floor at depths from 12 to 25 feet. The buoys along the coastline from Jupiter to Boca Raton are restricted to only one boat at a time and overnight mooring is banned. There is no fee to boaters.

There are currently five mooring locations from Jupiter to Boca Raton:

Site Name Latitude Longitude Number of Buoys
Diamondhead Radnor 26°54.811 80°03.521 3
Singer Island 26°47.153 80°01.802 3
Breaker’s Reef 26°42.892 80°06.505 16
Mar-a-Lago 26°41.105 80°05.978 6
Boca Raton 26°20.64826°23.165 80°03.91480°03.684 10

The moorings are located close to coral reefs so boat pilots must watch for divers, swimmers, and snorkelers. Idle the engine and approach the moorings against the wind or current. Check the mooring for damage or unsecured lines before use; do not tie up to the pick-up line as it puts increased stress on buoy anchor.

Secure your boat safely and responsibly as follows:

  1. Cleat off one end of the bow line to the bow.
  2. Use a hook to grab the pick-up line attached to the mooring.
  3. Run the bow line through the eye of the pick-up line.
  4. Cleat the free end to the bow of your boat.

Donations to fund the program are encouraged. Call the Wildlife Foundation of Florida at 1-800-988-4889 or visit http://wildlifefoundationofflorida.com/. For more information about the Palm Beach County Mooring Buoy Program, visit www.co.palm-beach.fl.us/erm/coastal/mooring-buoys/ or call 561-223-2400.

By Melissa McMahon

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Mooring Buoy Map

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