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Installing the Eco-Mooring System at Long Beach's Belmont PierAt Long Beach's Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Mike O'Toole is hoping he can lure some of the traffic making the 26-mile trek across the sea for a simpler, quicker getaway.

"They've got a great thing going in Catalina, and I think we can make something like it work here," O'Toole said, who has been working with pier operator Fred Khammar for the past five years on the mooring project.

Now, with the city's and California Coastal Commission's blessing, O'Toole can install up to 45 moorings along the west and east sides of the pier. He got a jump on the venture by installing nine moorings earlier this month.

Moorings have been in the works since a pilot program was put in place in 2008. City officials requested an environmentally friendly mooring system, which meant replacing the large anchor and heavy chain that make up conventional moorings. Both can end up damaging the ocean floor, as the anchor leaves a large footprint on the floor, and the chain can drag during low tides, killing nearby aquatic plants, kicking up sediment and dirtying the water in the process.

After initial test moorings using another system, which included a 10-foot-long helix anchor that screws into the floor led to some failings in the test mooring field, O'Tool decided to go with the Eco-Mooring System.

Clarification: This blog posted online on April 8, 2014, and updated June 23, reported on comments made by a Long Beach pier operator to the city's Marine Advisory Commission about his views of a pilot mooring program initiated in 2008. The operator told the Commission that hardware connecting boats to mooring lines proved faulty, leading to some failures, and that he had "lost all confidence in the equipment." Because the story included the operator's reference to "the Seaflex system" during his remarks to the Commission, some readers may have erroneously inferred that the hardware was provided or installed by Seaflex. Seaflex says that when problems arose with the largely non-Seaflex moorings, the company identified the problem with the hardware and installed, without charge, a Seaflex attachment system to the moorings, as well as three complete Seaflex systems, which have been in place without incident since 2012.

You can read the full article here: Catalina-style boating coming to Long Beach's Belmont Pier

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