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Old 20-05-2019, 12:54   #16
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Re: anchor-outs have significantly harmed the ecosystem

The damage of anchoring and traditional chain, [non-conservation designed] moorings is readily evident and most visible when there is a grassy bottom.

Richardson Bay is a heavily used anchorage and the reduction of seagrass is striking. Reference picture linked below. The boaters don't own the seafloor, do not pay for its upkeep, and are not good stewards thereof.

The new designs of conservation moorings can easily and greatly reduce the adversity of anchoring and of chain mooring. The sea ecosystem is damaged by dragging anchors and by chain movement; damage also occurs in areas not covered by grasses, it is just not so readily visibly apparent as a bare spot or a spot with lower height and density of grasses or where the type of grass has been altered to such that the grasses that handle disturbances are what remains, albeit at lowered density.

If you take bottom samples one can statistically gauge the impact of swinging chains tracing their circles around the moor point. In our high schools marine biology class performed such back in the early 1970's both in the S.F. Bay and on miniature scale in our large refrigerated aquariums, made of chest freezers.

Disturbance is disturbance and should be kept to a minimum. Leave no trace is a standard principle of ethics on land and at sea.

Anchoring is in many ways very similar to hiking off path through a tender meadow, or taking an ATV off road. You can't undo the impact.

Reference aerial view of Richardson Bay and the damage to the eelgrass. https://media.springernature.com/ori..._Fig3_HTML.png

Reference associated research article: https://link.springer.com/article/10...67-019-01169-4

Image of an ATV deeply rutting a meadow for a landlubber equivalent.
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Old 20-05-2019, 13:00   #17
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Re: anchor-outs have significantly harmed the ecosystem

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
41% isn’t a percentage of damage, unless you state what the definition of damage is.
That may seem a simplistic statement, but if your agenda is to find damage, then your definition of damage will differ from someone who doesn’t want to find damage...
I recommend interested parties read the actual study. It’s not very long, and the essential paragraphs, titled “Identification of anchor scars and damage analyses”, “Eelgrass damage per vessel”, and “Results” will only take a moment to read.

From “Identification of anchor scars and damage analyses”
“... We identified areas of the eelgrass beds that were damaged by anchored vessels through manual interpretation of photographs. We searched for light patches that were indicative of circular anchor scour near or surrounding anchored vessels that contrasted with the dark green eelgrass. Although the extent of damage to plants was difficult to estimate, anchor scars denuded areas and were easily distinguishable from the air and in aerial imagery...”
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Old 20-05-2019, 13:06   #18
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anchor-outs have significantly harmed the ecosystem

You can undo the impact, and not all impact is bad.
For many years “horrible” forest fires were put out as soon as possible cause they of course cause horrible damage, I’m sure this practice is still carried out in California with a vengeance.
However there are far more forest fires in the Southeast US than in California, yet very little damage is done.
Why? Because many years ago people who grow trees in the Southeast discovered that fire is a natural occurrence, and that regular fires both accelerated growth by returning nutrients to the ground, and by burning off the undergrowth regularly that there just wasn’t enough fuel to have catastrophic fires.
Then I believe this was driven home to the Federal government in the Yellowstone fires of the late 80’s.

But I believe California will not control burn, have to ask why?
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Old 20-05-2019, 13:14   #19
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Re: anchor-outs have significantly harmed the ecosystem

Now that there are many yachties utilizing aerial drone vidography, it is much more common to see the striking damage of a boat that uses chains for mooring / anchoring. Note: Rope rode is less damaging but still adverse.

It is rather the equivalent of clear cutting a forest.

Reference an inland lake in Australia titled:
"Chain moorings creating holes in the seagrass, Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia" https://blog.arribasail.com/2014/11/...ease-dont.html

There is no arguing that the damage occurs and that it is significant.
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Old 20-05-2019, 13:17   #20
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Re: anchor-outs have significantly harmed the ecosystem

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

However, the authors, Julia J. Kelly, PhD, is San Francisco Bay Program Conservation Manager, Daniel Orr is Spatial, GIS and Data Analyst, and John Takekawa is director of bird conservation, all for Audubon.

Hardly a disinterested party, when you are in the employ of a advocacy group, however the photos do speak volumes.

PS: California wildfires are a red herring to this discussion.
The impact will NOT be undone, as long as boats continue to anchor there.
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Old 20-05-2019, 13:25   #21
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Re: anchor-outs have significantly harmed the ecosystem

A comparison of the damage circle of a traditional swing chain mooring field, versus a [novel to me] cyclone style mooring and the damage caused by a conservation mooring of the screw type which has a very limited arc of influence do to the use of floating line. Image of the three types provided below.

Article: 2013 A comparison of the impact of 'seagrass-friendly''
boat mooring systems on Posidonia australis

http://https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/vie...text=smhpapers

Permanent boat moorings have contributed to the decline of seagrasses worldwide, prompting the development of ‘seagrass-friendly’ moorings. We contrasted seagrass cover and density (predominantly Posidonia australis) in the vicinity of three mooring types and nearby reference areas lacking moorings in Jervis Bay, Australia. We examined two types of ‘seagrass-friendly’ mooring and a conventional ‘swing’ mooring. ‘Swing’ moorings produced significant seagrass scour, denuding patches of ∼9 m radius. Seagrass friendly ‘cyclone’ moorings produced extensive denuded patches (average radius of ∼18 m). Seagrass-friendly ‘screw’ moorings, conversely, had similar seagrass cover to nearby reference areas.

Lesson learned: Mooring without leaving nary a trace is viable and easily accomplished.
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Old 20-05-2019, 13:26   #22
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Re: anchor-outs have significantly harmed the ecosystem

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PS: California wildfires are a red herring to this discussion.


I don’t think so at all, I think it shows a bias to the government in California, I think for instance you would see very different things from Alaska or Texas for instance.

Yes of course there is damage, but how significant is it, how quickly does it recover and does it not possibly stimulate growth?
I don’t pretend to know, but I know enough to not be horrified by studies that the funding source isn’t clear, and especially from groups that do have clear agendas.
For instance I would be highly suspect of a study funded by BP on the effects of an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for obvious reasons.’
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Old 20-05-2019, 13:30   #23
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Re: anchor-outs have significantly harmed the ecosystem

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...There is no arguing that the damage occurs and that it is significant.
It's not a given that something in flux is being "damaged" unless one does not accept the flux reality to begin with. What did those areas look like 50 years ago? 100 years? 1,000 years ago? What was the composition of the local ecological systems during those same time-frames? Are we trying to make everything permanently exist like it did in 1995 or something??

The hills about Richardson Bay are encrusted with human dwellings that invariably serve to alter the environment an order of magnitude more than the boats in the bay. It takes an agenda to ignore this reality.
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Old 20-05-2019, 13:31   #24
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Re: anchor-outs have significantly harmed the ecosystem

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... But I believe California will not control burn, have to ask why?

I don't have a dog in the fight, but...


I would not want to be in charge of controlled burns around houses in an arid climate for any money. I would refuse or find a new job. Politicians will say no, because if a house is burned, they're done. The personal liability is too high. Ga and Yellowstone are completely different subjects. I've been around East Coast fires, and it is different (more humidity and more rain).


I don't think environmentalists are the only challenge. It would be a scary thing to manage.


----


I wonder how the cost of a good screw pile mooring compares to using your own tackle, taken over 10 years, no profit. And obviously, you can fit the boats more closely. Given the experience in Boot Key, they are clearly more secure (one one mooring failed in the huricane--the losses were all related to personal pendants).
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Old 20-05-2019, 13:31   #25
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Re: anchor-outs have significantly harmed the ecosystem

We have spent a lot of time in the Grenadines since 1994 . During this time I have been to observe what happens when moorings become the norm .
In the Tobago Cays ,which sees hundreds of boats a week, they allow anchoring or you can take a ball . Most charter boats take a ball . They also have cordoned off an area from all boat traffic except dingys . The result is a return of sea grass and of turtles,rays etc.
In Bequia where the unregulated placement of moorings is rampant the bay has much more sealife and cleaner water than you might expect for such a busy anchourage .
My libertarian friend who is a captain in Bequia ,was originally against the moorings and the boat free area in the keys but now is in favour of them and told me that the water in Bequia is clearer now than 15 years ago .
In Dominica they use Dyneema instead of chain to further reduce damage to the sea bottom.
I like to anchour as much as the next guy ,but you cant really argue about the damage . Also saying “what about this or what about that “ does not change the facts .
Perhaps rich land owners will use this as an argument but just because a rich guy may have an agenda does not mean it is not true

There is no question that moorings are better for the environment.
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Old 20-05-2019, 13:31   #26
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Re: anchor-outs have significantly harmed the ecosystem

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But I believe California will not control burn, have to ask why?
For the forests that burned the last couple years in Northern California, over 60% were Federal forests. I do know that Cal Fire does do some controlled Burns in the spring. California generally has six months of rain and six months of sunshine. It's at the end of that six months of sunshine where the fire danger is dangerous High. Actually it's pretty dry in July too for that matter.

Usually by June the are not controlled burns anywhere as its just too dry.
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Old 20-05-2019, 13:37   #27
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Re: anchor-outs have significantly harmed the ecosystem

I was thinking about this a bit and it occurred to me.

Why not refocus on the farms and gardens which are systematically 'destroying' the land with their plows? Why no "Save the dandelions adn crab grass" committee?
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Old 20-05-2019, 13:43   #28
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Re: anchor-outs have significantly harmed the ecosystem

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... Why no "Save the dandelions adn crab grass" committee?
See the New Joke Thread ("God on Lawns").
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Old 20-05-2019, 13:51   #29
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Re: anchor-outs have significantly harmed the ecosystem

part of the issue with Richardson Bay is there are multiple municipalities located around the bay. The average home cost in Sausalito is $1000000. On Belvedere to the east the average home is 10 million dollars.

Yes there is some eelgrass damaged in Richardson Bay. But it's less then 10% based on my observations anyway. And while there are areas with little ellgrass most of the Bay is unaffected. the vast majority of folks anchored in Richardson Bay, are using mixed Rode anchors. Plus the water depth is only about 6 feet or less where most of the ellgrass circles are seen in the photographs.

It does not seem to affect Wildlife whatsoever. Wildlife in my mind anyway from observation is highest in Richardson Bay. This based on the number of sea lions Pelicans seagulls and the fish they catch.
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Old 20-05-2019, 14:03   #30
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Re: anchor-outs have significantly harmed the ecosystem

I don’t think it should come as any surprise that anchoring can cause damage to the ecosystem on the floor of the anchorage. I’d think it is similar to the damage caused by bottom trawling. Dragging chain, or even rope, through body of sea vegetation is clearly going to do damage.

The question, of course, is the scale and impact of the damage. And whether the damage rate is sustainable, or is it causing continual degradation.

As the study says, this anchoring practice has been going on for a long time, but it indicates the intensity of use (the numbers anchoring) has increased over recent years. So now the damage appears to be unsustainable.

This is the same kind of problem we face with all sorts of human-caused impacts. A few people tossing their garbage or effluent into an area has minimal impacts because the system can accommodate a certain rate. But when a small number turns to a large number, the ecosystem’s capacity becomes overwhelmed, and damage starts to happen.

The paper suggests the damage being caused here is at an unsustainable rate. I would want to see additional work before reaching a final conclusion. But as I say, it should come as no surprise that anchoring can cause damage.

Of course, then we have to decide if we care whether this ecosystem is irreparably damaged, or altered. Human civilization is a history of altering (i.e. destroying) existing ecosystems, and converting them into systems better suited to our needs.
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