Mooring buoy installations aim to stop damage that boat anchors cause to nearshore habitat

by Tim Flanagan on April 30, 2010

Judith Lavoie has this story in the Victoria Times Colonist:

The Rich Passage 1, <a href=discount a newly-designed low wake catamaran ferry is slated to be tested in Plumper Sound, page between Pender and Saturna Islands, buy more about even though it is owned by a U.S transit company will be used on the route between Seattle and Bremerton. Gulf Islanders and environmentalists are questioning why Canadian waters are being used for the tests and raising concerns about the potential for environmental damage .” src=”http://www.vancouversun.com/2965334.bin” width=”466″ height=”350″ />
[The Rich Passage 1. Photograph by Golder Associates, Times Colonist]

Gulf Islands politicians are demanding that the federal government reject plans to hold high-speed wake tests of a new U.S ferry in Canadian waters.

Gary Steeves, Islands Trust trustee for North Pender, said he heard last week about proposals for 390 test runs over 30 days, starting May 25 in Plumper Sound, which runs between Pender and Saturna islands.

"I can’t understand why Canada would agree to it," said Steeves, adding the Islands Trust is contacting the appropriate agencies asking that the tests not be allowed to proceed.

The Rich Passage 1, a low-wake, 23-metre, passenger-only ferry, is being tested by Kitsap Transit of Washington state. If the tests — at speeds up to 40 knots — are successful, the ferry is slated to be used on the run between Seattle and Bremerton.

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DNR’s Ear to the Ground blog has this story:

mooring buoy[Mooring buoy for recreational boaters to use instead of anchoring. Photo courtesy of Washington Scuba Alliance.]

We’re glad to see KING 5 News report last night on new efforts to address the damage that boat anchors can cause to nearshore areas, clinic
such as seabeds, and
in Puget Sound and Hood Canal. This week a private contractor has been installing mooring buoys off Whidbey Island at a popular spot for recreational divers. Boat anchors from divers’ boats are damaging a large sunken shipwreck that has become a popular scuba destination because of the many fish species it attracts. The mooring buoy installation also aims to stop damage that anchoring can cause to eel grass and other aquatic habitat. The effort has received support from DNR, the Puget Sound Partnership and the Washington Scuba Alliance.

Back in October 2009, DNR approved installation of up to 19 mooring buoys at popular dive sites in five counties around Puget Sound and Hood Canal. The installed buoys will be available for use by the general public on a first come, first served basis and will be prominently marked.

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