Great News! The Coast Guard published a rule aimed at protecting coral reefs off Miami by restricting areas where ships and other vessels can anchor. We're so happy to contribute to this process!
By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter
As published in the Federal Register, the rule divides the Port of Miami into two anchorage areas, reducing the area for vessels to anchor by about 3 square nautical miles, leaving ships to anchor in about 1.5 square miles.
The rule also prohibits vessels from anchoring with engines off, and vessels that want to anchor for longer than 72 hours will be required to seek permission of the port captain.
At the end of 2015, the Coast Guard joined stakeholders, including the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative, to assess dividing the anchorage site into two smaller areas.
The initial plan was supported by the nonprofit Miami Waterkeeper and others and was greenlighted after consultation with the Biscayne Bay Pilots Association.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection voiced support for the change as a way to reduce coral reef and hard-bottom impacts.
The Coast Guard said the rule's costs and benefits aren't significant and so the measure is exempt from President Trump's Jan. 30 regulatory order requiring the cost of new rules to be offset by the repeal of two old regulations.