Mooring and anchoring have always been controversial subjects in Florida. Both are often discouraged because of the fear that visiting boats and vessels will damage the marine ecosystem, particularly the seagrass. But in the wake of new technologies, the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says that these controlled mooring systems could actually relieve the problem.
In 2011, the state of Florida chose four locations for pilot mooring fields with the expectation that boating would be easier and more enjoyable, while also encouraging more communities to use this method to preserve the environment. The commission chose Sarasota, St. Petersburg, St. Augustine and the Florida Keys (Marathon and Key West) for their three year pilot project. This would authorize local governments to set up mooring fields and enable them to develop and test policies for managing them. The legislature and the commission will evaluate the pilot programs this year and, unless the legislature decides that they are satisfactory, the mooring and anchoring ordinances enacted will expire.
A total of 26 Eco-Mooring Systems from Boatmoorings.com were approved to go into St. Petersburg in the Vinoy Yacht Basin. This technology was chosen with the hope that it would alleviate seagrass and marine life damage while also having the strength and durability to endure heavy loads and extreme weather conditions. The local legislation is incredibly pleased with the results of this system, which is still holding strong three years later. The traditional block and chain moorings have negative impacts on sensitive sea beds, particularly the seagrass. The scouring effect of the mooring chains, which can be observed here, is incredibly detrimental to Florida's marine life. The Eco-Mooring System technology eliminates this negative impact on the environment and still has the strength and durability to withstand incredible forces.