Environmentally Friendly Aids to Navigation Buoy Moorings
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Aids to navigation (ATON) established and maintained by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) negatively impact coral and a seagrass species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These negative impacts are caused by physical contact between the threatened species or the benthic environment surrounding them and the ATON itself, the ATON’s mooring, or the temporary anchoring/mooring devices employed by the USCG vessels installing and maintaining the ATON. These interactions constitute a “take” under the ESA and are detrimental to the health and vitality of those species. The USCG should explore practicable new ATON mooring technologies and installation and maintenance procedures that eliminate or lessen negative impacts on the threatened seagrass and coral species. This paper focuses on USCG ATON impacts to threatened seagrass and coral species and includes: a characterization and quantification of USCG ATON impact areas in critical seagrass and coral habitats; and an analysis of novel (to the USCG) and more environmentally-friendly commercial-off-the-shelf anchoring and mooring systems suitable for USCG ATON, including an analysis of their installation and maintenance requirements and a cost comparison between them and traditional ATON anchoring and mooring systems.
Slivinski, Luke (2015). Environmentally Friendly Aids to Navigation Buoy Moorings. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9633.
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