Coast Guard seeks public comment on ATON near Moriches Inlet and Moriches Bay

NEW YORK – The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking public comment on proposed aids to navigation to mark navigable water near Hart Cove to offer an alternate route in order avoid shoaling near buoys 26 and 27 of the Long Island Intracoastal Waterway.

Currently it is dangerous for mariners to attempt to navigate Moriches Inlet, and due to the unsafe conditions, buoys in the inlet are not being maintained and all aids to navigation in the area are unreliable due to shoaling. Mariners are advised to seek alternate navigable routes.

As a result of the severe conditions in Moriches Bay, the Coast Guard is seeking public comment on a proposal to establish 10 additional aids to navigation in order to mark navigable water near Hart Cove and offer an alternate route to avoid shoaling. The proposed additional buoys will not affect Moriches Inlet, which will still be considered unsafe for transit.

Interested mariners are strongly encouraged to comment on this proposal in writing, either personally or through their organization by March 31. All comments will be carefully considered. In order to most effectively consider your feedback and improve the data collection, when responding to this proposal, please include size and type of vessel, recreational or commercial, and possible concern or use of proposed aids. Please do not call the Coast Guard via telephone or other means, only written responses to this proposal will be accepted. Refer to Project No. 01-18-001. E-mail can be sent to: D01-SMB-DPWPublicComments@uscg.mil.

Mariners are also recommended to check the weekly notice to mariners to gain current information on the area, listed here.

The most severe area of shoaling can be found between buoys 26 and 27, with water depth less than three feet. Shoaling is also reported near Moriches Inlet East Cut Buoys 3E and 5E.

In order to address safety concerns in the area due to shoaling, Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound is working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, local first responders and multiple waterway users.

Prior to the recent storms severe shoaling was already occurring in Moriches Bay along the Long Island Intracoastal Waterway north of Moriches Inlet and near Bird Island near buoys 26, 27, 28 and 29, extending the entire width of the channel, during all any tide levels. Following those storms, the reported shoaling may have changed substantially and the area is still considered unsafe for navigation.

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