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Boats use mooring buoys in front of Fowey Rocks Lighthouse in Miami-Dade County. Photo: Ana Zangroniz


Here in Florida, we room fortunate to have conditions that enable for boating task year round. Throughout the state, in various other parts of the US and even approximately the world, boaters pass white buoys floating top top the surface of the water. During my duration of employment and subsequent volunteer tenure v Biscayne nationwide Park, I regularly encountered boaters that were confused regarding what those balls were, and as a result, simply avoided them. Ironically, mooring buoys (see photograph 1) room employed to be offered by the an extremely boaters that are avoiding them.

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Mooring buoys note sites because that boat accessibility to fishing, snorkeling, and also SCUBA diving activities. The buoy at the surface is attached come the bottom by a line that is associated to a irreversible anchor. The benefits of this device are two-fold: boaters deserve to enjoy one area without having actually to anchor your vessel, and also the buoy provides accessibility to sensitive cultural and/or natural resources. This is of particular importance, every Florida’s Coral Reef security Act, anchoring on coral reef or hardbottom areas is illegal. Anchor damage to corals can result in injury or fatality of the organism, depending on the severity and species type.

Buoys space intended for use on a first-come, first-served basis and are intended come promote usage of an area and also visitation. In Florida, mooring buoys room white v a blue stripe about the center of the buoy. In various other countries, this can differ. Once boating, be certain to consult local navigational charts to referral specially zoned or marked areas, which may contain buoys that are various colors.

To usage a mooring buoy:

Approach the buoy against the wind or current, whichever is many effecting her boat’s course.Use a watercraft hook to choose up the mooring line. Run a heat from your watercraft through the mooring heat to permit for plenty of scope, or length of line the you connect from your boat to the buoy. Never tie your boat directly come the mooring line.

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Make sure you enable for enough scope so the the buoy is no being traction under the surface. Enough scope is especially an essential during stormy or windy conditions.Once your lines are tied, inspect the lines and buoy come make specific that the mechanism is secure.Bear in mind the buoys are installed in well-known recreational areas, so strategy at idle speed and be ~ above the lookout for swimmers and also divers.

Here are links for mooring buoys in southeast Florida, from southern to north: