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Old 26-03-2022, 17:31   #31
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Re: Anchoring in Eelgrass protection areas - PNW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
Hi, if it is as you state then I am absolutely correct, given that you have said that it has passed through all necessary legislative processes into law, the path that I said it should have taken. You will note that I also said that I respect the intent. At no point was politics invoked except by you, and it is also noteworthy that there are often several views on any topic, shooting down those that may view a subject differently is neither constructive nor appropriate.
You honestly don't think this (below) was a rude response to someone who is just trying to do some good? I'm just glad I don't live in that a paranoid a world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
Are these areas designated as 'No Anchoring'? You're asking how to get people to not anchor in an area that is otherwise a legal anchorage.

Being your first post and the fact that you're not a boater, it's hard to not suspect you're simply not someone in the PNW looking to crowd source information in order to further exclude people, ala Florida.

If the eel grass tactic doesn't work, then it will be 'illegal dumping and discharge' next.
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Old 26-03-2022, 17:33   #32
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Re: Anchoring in Eelgrass protection areas - PNW

California has similar seagrass protection zones.

By way of example, in Tomales Bay:

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is the primary type of seagrass found in Tomales Bay. Unlike kelp, eelgrass is a flowering plant and not an alga, and therefore relies on the release of pollen for reproduction. Eelgrass provides important habitat for numerous fish and other organisms in Tomales Bay.
High concentrations of fish are found in eelgrass habitat for several reasons: it provides abundant food sources (including algae, fish, invertebrates, and detritus); it provides a hiding space for many species of fish, protecting them from predation by larger fish and birds; and eelgrass beds serve as an important nursery ground, providing a safer place for larvae and juvenile fish to feed and grow. Moreover, some species of fish use eelgrass beds for their spawning grounds, including the commercially important Pacific herring, which relies on abundant eelgrass beds to support its roe. Other commercially valuable species feed in eelgrass beds at some point in their lives as well, including Dungeness crabs, rockfish, salmon and Pacific herring.

Eelgrass beds also help to support a very large population of birds on Tomales Bay, which feed on eelgrass, fish, and invertebrates in the beds and adjacent areas. In addition to supporting fish and birds, eelgrass sustains a myriad of invertebrate species: clams, shrimp, snails, nudibranchs, amphipods, worms, and bryozoans consume tiny algae that grow on eelgrass blades and filter detritus and phytoplankton from the water. In turn, these animals provide food for many other animals that live and/or feed in eelgrass beds.

Eelgrass provides ecosystem services beyond providing habitat and food for animals. It improves water quality along the coast by trapping sediments and reducing excess nutrients and pollutants in the water column. In some cases eelgrass beds can also help to prevent coastal erosion by buffering the impacts of wave energy and storms. Currently Tomales Bay is being studied for potential benefits of eelgrass beds to sequestering carbon.

Because of their ecological importance and vulnerability to impacts from humans, eelgrass beds are protected in several different ways: they are designated as “special aquatic sites” under Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines of the Clean Water Act; designated as Essential Fish Habitat under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Management Act; and protected under California Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations. Moreover, GFNMS regulations offer protection through prohibiting vessel anchoring within Tomales Bay Seagrass Protection Zones.

Help Protect Seagrass
The Sanctuary has taken several actions to protect seagrass, and we need your help to keep it protected. If you are planning on boating, kayaking, swimming or wading in the nearshore waters of Tomales Bay, then avoid certain actions that can impact seagrass beds. Best practices include:

If you are kayaking and want to beach your boat, choose a location that is free of seagrass.
When swimming or wading, be sure not to step in seagrass.
Before anchoring, check for seagrass. If you see it, move to another location or further offshore. Eelgrass in Tomales Bay (Zostera marina) is generally found in depths less than 20 feet. Without exception, anchoring is prohibited in Seagrass Protection Zones.


Seagrass Protection Zones

Seagrass in the Sanctuary is defined as any species of marine angiosperms (flowering plants) that inhabit portions of the seabed in the Sanctuary. There are a total of seven no anchoring zones, which comprise 22% of the surface area of Tomales Bay. The location and extent of the no-anchoring zones encompass the majority of seagrass coverage within the jurisdiction of the Sanctuary and are based upon seagrass data provided by California Department of Fish and Wildlife from 1992, 2000, 2001 and 2002. The no-anchoring seagrass protection zones include some areas where seagrass coverage is extensive and other areas where coverage is discontinuous and patchy. All zones extend shoreward to the Mean High Water Line. This prohibition protects seagrass beds in Tomales Bay from harm from anchoring. View the map and coordinates (PDF, 2.5 MB) of the designated no-anchoring seagrass protection zones.
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Old 26-03-2022, 18:03   #33
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Re: Anchoring in Eelgrass protection areas - PNW

Similarly, Florida has 42 aquatic preserves covering 2,700,000 acres.

Reference link to an interactive map of the 42 preserves.
https://fdep.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Ma...100d90f37df3f0


Destruction of seagrass in aquatic preserves is a violation of Florida Law and carries a penalty of up to $1,000. Avoid damaging seagrass by knowing your boat’s operating depth and navigating in marked channels. Anchor only in bare sandy bottoms. Destruction can be caused by keel contact, motor disturbance and anchor ground tackle.

Seagrass beds serve as a measure of water quality and provide habitat for a variety of marine life, including scallops. A single acre of seagrass can support nearly 40,000 fish and 50 million small invertebrates like lobsters and shrimp. Florida ascribes and economic value to the seagrass lands at over $50,000 per hectare.

Florida's Aquatic Preserve Program

Much of Florida's distinctive character lies in the beauty of its coastline. The best of our coastal landscapes have been set aside for protection as aquatic preserves. Florida’s natural beauty has always been a major attractions for both tourists and residents. Ironically, the very features draw people to Florida are potentially endangered by the increased population pressures. Aquatic preserves protect the living waters of Florida to ensure they will always be home for bird rookeries and fish nurseries, freshwater springs and salt marshes, seagrass meadows and mangrove forests. These natural wonders offer a window into Florida's natural and cultural heritage. In 1975, with growing appreciation for their environmental diversity and alluring beauty, Florida enacted the Aquatic Preserve Act. This ensured that aquatic preserves' natural condition, "their aesthetic, biological and scientific values may endure for the enjoyment of future generations." Today, Florida has 42 aquatic preserves, encompassing approximately 2.7 million acres. All but four of these "submerged lands of exceptional beauty" are located along Florida's 8,400 miles of coastline in the shallow waters of marshes and estuaries.

Last but not least, The Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve (NCAP), WAS designated in 2020 by the Florida Legislature, is Florida’s 42nd aquatic preserve and the state’s first new aquatic preserve in 32 years. It encompasses 800 square miles of coastal waters, including 625 miles of shoreline, along Citrus, Hernando and Pasco counties, making it the second-largest aquatic preserve in Florida.

Image of this recent addition to Florida wonderful aquatic preserves.
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Old 26-03-2022, 18:05   #34
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Re: Anchoring in Eelgrass protection areas - PNW

While I agree that protecting eelgrass is likely a good thing to strive for, I dislike people making things sound like they are laws when they are not.

OP - about no anchoring "protection zones"

In the links posted about the recent laws passed for the Snohomish river, I did not see anchoring restricted, the law states there is a no development zone as far as I could make out.

This goes for all those that state ABYC requirements are law as well. There are some ABYC incorporated in laws now, but many aren't.
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Old 26-03-2022, 18:25   #35
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Re: Anchoring in Eelgrass protection areas - PNW

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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
While I agree that protecting eelgrass is likely a good thing to strive for, I dislike people making things sound like they are laws when they are not.

OP - about no anchoring "protection zones"

In the links posted about the recent laws passed for the Snohomish river, I did not see anchoring restricted, the law states there is a no development zone as far as I could make out.

This goes for all those that state ABYC requirements are law as well. There are some ABYC incorporated in laws now, but many aren't.
These now are laws!
It should not take Laws to encourage folks to be protective of the Fragile Environment we all live in!
If one does not care for the environment they and others live in?
They should recuse themselves from decision making in these sensitive areas they are considering.
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Old 26-03-2022, 18:30   #36
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Re: Anchoring in Eelgrass protection areas - PNW

Jefferson County Marine Resource Committee

Port Townsend is a very popular destination for pleasure boaters in Washington's inland waters. During boating season, the nearshore area adjacent to the downtown waterfront is heavily used as an anchorage. It is also home to a flourishing, ecologically rich eelgrass bed. Jefferson MRC helps protect this eelgrass bed and two others by preventing significant damage from boat anchors.

Eelgrass beds provide critically important habitat for salmon, crab, invertebrates and other marine life. Juvenile salmon and other small marine organisms rely on eelgrass beds as places to hide from predators and to feed. Pacific herring lay their eggs directly on the plant's leaves. Crabs, nudibranchs, flatfish, gunnels and pipefish are some of the many species that call these habitats home. Damage to eelgrass beds affect threatened salmon, waterfowl, shellfish, and other animals, as well as the stability of our shorelines. Damage from anchoring is easy to see when vessels pull up anchors weighted with plants and mud.

The MRC established its first voluntary "No Anchor Zone" in 2004 to protect eelgrass beds along the Port Townsend waterfront. Special navigational buoys mark the outer boundaries of the eelgrass zone and the buoy label asks vessel operators to “anchor out for safety and salmon”. In most cases, vessels only have to move offshore two to three boat lengths to eliminate the anchor impact. Boaters also benefit because anchors hold poorly in the softer sediments preferred by eelgrass and are more prone to dragging and drifting.

In 2015, we expanded the Port Townsend voluntary no-anchor zone southward. It now protects 52 acres of eelgrass along this bustling maritime waterfront with support from the EPA and Puget Sound Partnership through Northwest Straits Commission grants and the Port of Port Townsend.

Outreach

Outreach efforts include using on-line navigation apps such as ActiveCaptain which shows boaters where navigational hazards might be encountered and interpretive signs on docks, that visitors will see when they come ashore. The messages explain the importance of eelgrass and requests for voluntary compliance by anchoring outside the buoys.


Protecting Shellfish Beds
The success of the project led to new voluntary no-anchor zone projects that protect shellfish harvest areas (and eelgrass beds) in Mystery Bay and Port Hadlock. There, large numbers of temporary boat-anchoring activities threatened closure of commercial shellfish beds as well as damaging nearby eelgrass beds. The success of these projects was the result of extensive collaborations with WA Dept of Health, Jefferson County, WA Dept of Natural Resources, Port of Port Townsend and others.
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Old 26-03-2022, 18:40   #37
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Re: Anchoring in Eelgrass protection areas - PNW

Stated goals of the Snohomish Watershed Resilience Action Plan
PLAN

GOAL 1: PROTECT AND CLEAN UP AQUATIC HABITAT
Action 1: Protect and Restore Submerged Aquatic Lands and Nearshore Habitat
Outcome 1: Protect 100% of priority nearshore habitat with a Kelp and Eelgrass Protection Zone
by 2022.
Outcome 2: Increase kelp and eelgrass coverage (net gain): 967 acres baseline.
Action 2: Restore Aquatic Land and Riparian Habitat in the Estuary
Outcome 3: Restore habitat availability by removing 150 Tons of marine debris by 2024.
Outcome 4: Eliminate 100% of unpermitted marinas/infrastructure, and bring 100% of default
leases into compliance and resolve resulting habitat impacts by 2031.
Outcome 5: Clean up and restore aquatic lands, including removal of 100% of current derelict
vessels by 2026
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Old 26-03-2022, 19:08   #38
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Re: Anchoring in Eelgrass protection areas - PNW

Puget Sound Kelp Conservation and Recovery Plan
The Northwest Straits Initiative along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), Washington Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), and several marine conservation non-profits published the Puget Sound Kelp Conservation and Recovery Plan in May 2020.

The Kelp Plan provides a research and management framework for coordinated action to improve understanding of kelp forest population changes and declines, while also working to implement and strengthen recovery and protective measures.

Actions identified in this Kelp Plan address six strategic goals:

Understand and reduce kelp stressors;
Deepen understanding of the value of kelp to Puget Sound ecosystems and integrate into management;
Describe kelp distribution and trends;
Designate kelp protected areas;
Restore kelp forests; and
Promote awareness, engagement, and action from user groups, Tribes, the public, and decision-makers.

The Snohomish Marine Resource Committee contributed to the development of the Kelp Plan by providing the core author team with data, review, and local expertise.
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Old 26-03-2022, 19:15   #39
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Re: Anchoring in Eelgrass protection areas - PNW

Preservation of seagrass meadows is an international issue.

By way of example,

The European Union's Habitats Directive1 and the Water Framework Directive2 recognise the importance of seagrass meadows, and marine protected areas (MPAs) have been set up to help ensure their protection.

https://www.environmental-expert.com...dations-485730

Many meadows face increasing pressures from human activities. These include boat anchors or moorings, which can uproot seagrass or expose its delicate roots. Within a study area of the La Maddalena Archipelago National Park, Italy, a 50km2 MPA off the coast of Sardinia. Despite its protected status, seagrasses in the area are still threatened by boat anchoring. The researchers focused on two areas of the park, Cala Portese and Porto Madonna, which are most frequented by boats and equipped with mooring fields.

In general, the researchers found disturbed or very disturbed seagrass in all investigated areas, including ‘control areas’, where mooring is not allowed, at distances of 300–500 m from the edge of mooring fields. Seagrass covered 50–60% of the seafloor, on average, within mooring fields compared with 80–90% in the control areas. Seagrass meadows within mooring fields were also more fragmented than in control areas. This, the researchers say, suggests that mooring fields and 12 years of restrictions (on the amount and locations of anchoring in the MPA) have been an ineffective tool for protecting seagrass. At each area studied, the researchers found an increase of up to 34% in anchoring damage following the tourist season. In control areas, anchor damage increased by 18% and 70% at Cala Portese and Porto Madonna, respectively. This shows that current anchoring restrictions are often ignored. Additionally, the researchers found that there was a lower density of seagrass around traditional mooring systems, such as dump weights. This suggests that such moorings can become dislodged, due to wave action or misuse, and move along the seafloor, damaging seagrass.

These findings led the study’s authors to suggest a number of possible actions, both practical and legislative, to improve the protection of P. oceanica from anchoring damage. These are as follows:

Establish free zones for anchoring in areas where seagrass is not present, such as sandy bottoms.
Establish a maximum number of boats permitted in the park based on the number of mooring buoys available and the capacity of the designated anchoring sites on sandy bottoms.
Replace current mooring systems with ‘seagrass-friendly’ systems.
Better enforce anchoring restrictions, for example, by using surveillance technologies and co-operating closely with law enforcement.
Implement educational programmes or campaigns to change boaters’ attitudes and behaviours to anchoring in coastal areas.
Design and use a long-term monitoring plan to measure the effects of any management strategy.
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Old 27-03-2022, 15:56   #40
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Re: Anchoring in Eelgrass protection areas - PNW

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Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
Are these areas designated as 'No Anchoring'? You're asking how to get people to not anchor in an area that is otherwise a legal anchorage.

Being your first post and the fact that you're not a boater, it's hard to not suspect you're simply not someone in the PNW looking to crowd source information in order to further exclude people, ala Florida.

If the eel grass tactic doesn't work, then it will be 'illegal dumping and discharge' next.
Paranoid!
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Old 28-03-2022, 10:01   #41
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Re: Anchoring in Eelgrass protection areas - PNW

As boaters, I always thought that we are supposed to be in tune with our environment and to respect it. Seems like a no-brainer to me to want to know where there are eelgrass beds so that we can avoid anchoring in them ... both for the enviro and our own safety. There have been efforts to replant it in Comox Harbour to help restore fish populations, and to complement restoration work being done in local rivers. Here is overall mapping for BC, although not on a scale that will really assist with daily anchoring decisions;
https://cmnmaps.ca/eelgrassbc/
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Old 28-03-2022, 10:10   #42
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Re: Anchoring in Eelgrass protection areas - PNW

Anchoring in a seagrass meadow is similar to doing this:
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Old 28-03-2022, 10:29   #43
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Re: Anchoring in Eelgrass protection areas - PNW

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Originally Posted by Montanan View Post
California has similar seagrass protection zones.

By way of example, in Tomales Bay:....
And here it is on the NOAA ENC viewer, where notification to mariners properly belongs. The no anchor zone is shown clearly. Prudent mariners carry charts for the areas they travel, and with electronic updates being as easy as they are, once a protection zone is mandated the restriction should show up on the chart. I'm all for them also showing up in Active Captain, but no one should be forced to use a commercial product to identify public, legally mandated restrictions.

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Old 28-03-2022, 10:40   #44
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Re: Anchoring in Eelgrass protection areas - PNW

Quote:
Originally Posted by desodave View Post
As boaters, I always thought that we are supposed to be in tune with our environment and to respect it. Seems like a no-brainer to me to want to know where there are eelgrass beds so that we can avoid anchoring in them ... both for the enviro and our own safety. There have been efforts to replant it in Comox Harbour to help restore fish populations, and to complement restoration work being done in local rivers. Here is overall mapping for BC, although not on a scale that will really assist with daily anchoring decisions;
https://cmnmaps.ca/eelgrassbc/
Thanks for your thoughtful comment.
As for sailors, I'd have to agree that the environment we recreate on is valuable, and required for long term health of the planet.

There are some that think it's just a play ground and you can do,anything to it anywhere without them personally suffering any negative effects, other than them dragging their anchor.

Some will also assume if you inform them that the area in question is undergoing a destructive uptick in damages.
As well, populations of aquatic animals are suffering consequences, partially due to such issues.

That your discriminating against their free will.
Or because their from Florida, as the post says.
What a load of
BS

Well as a boater, I would consider these effects just as bad as dumping your waste tank in the inland waterway, or dumping oil laden water into to it.
And if that's the attitude they take, I my opinion they Should stay the H*** out!

Especially, when the commenter later says they don't know what
MY issue is.

I'm done trying to gently explain the problem to those Types.
If they don't get it, NO respect!
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Old 28-03-2022, 16:07   #45
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Re: Anchoring in Eelgrass protection areas - PNW

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Originally Posted by LizHK View Post
Hello -

If you're arriving in a new anchoring location in the Pacific Northwest- and looking for local information - what online or paper resources do you use?

I'm helping our local marine resource group figure out how to best communicate with visiting boaters about no anchoring "protection zones" for our delicate eelgrass beds.

We have visible buoys that mark the area - and interpretive signs on shore - but I'm wondering if there might be additional ways using navigation apps/marine guidebooks - to notify boaters as they are researching an area - so they don't get here and anchor in a protection zone by mistake.

I appreciate any information and ideas!

Thanks from the Eelgrass and me (Liz)
I know it’s an expense, but I think you will find putting and maintaining ideally free to use mooring buoys for boats, will be your best bet, to reduce the chances of someone dropping anchor in the grass, have a look at Dale in South Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 UK 🇬🇧 They have been doing the same with Sea Grass replanting. There is only 4 buoys could do with a few more, but if there are moorings for visiting boats you remove the space for someone to drop anchor. Which should give you what you are looking for.
All the buoys are yellow and marked with Free and the maximum boat length allowed.
The signs in any case need to be on marker buoys much like the speed limits.
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