Port Everglades Anchorage Review in Final Stages

MIAMI – The Coast Guard Captain of the Port at Sector Miami has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to modify the existing Port Everglades commercial vessel anchorage, near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to protect the coral reef areas adjacent to the anchorage.

The proposed changes to the existing Port Everglades commercial vessel anchorage include:

  1. Eliminating the section of the anchorage closest to fragile living coral reefs, noting that Florida possesses approximately 84 percent of the nation’s reef system.
  2. Expanding the anchorage to deeper waters farther away from the reef.
  3. Limiting the time a vessel may remain in the anchorage.

This proposed action is a direct result of recommendations made by the Port Everglades Harbor Safety Committee following a review of commercial vessel groundings off the Fort Lauderdale coast, including the grounding of the motor vessel Clipper Lasco Sept. 14, 2006, the last grounding of a commercial vessel near the anchorage.

The Harbor Safety Committee is chaired by Coast Guard Sector Miami and includes representation from federal, state and county agencies, and local maritime and environmental stakeholders. Participating agencies include the Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Broward County Environmental Protection Department, Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center and National Coral Reef Institute, Port Everglades Pilots, Broward County Port Everglades Department, City of Fort Lauderdale and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Written comments about the proposed rulemaking are encouraged and may be sent to: U.S. Coast Guard Sector Miami, 100 MacArthur Causeway, Miami Beach, FL. 33139 Attn: Lt. j.g. Christopher Svencer.

Comments will be received for at least 30 days after, which is the end of the public comment period. The Coast Guard will then review comments received and address them in the published Final Rule. The new anchorage will be effective immediately upon signature of the Final Rule.

During the past 13 years there were 12 groundings and five confirmed anchoring mishaps that damaged the fragile reef structure offshore of Fort Lauderdale.

During the past 13 years there were 12 groundings and five confirmed anchoring
mishaps that damaged the fragile reef structure offshore of Fort Lauderdale.

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