Port Everglades Anchorage Final Regulations Announced

MIAMI – The Port Everglades Harbor Safety Committee will announce Thursday the final regulation changes to the Port Everglades commercial anchorage area near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., at the Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center on John U. Lloyd State Park.

The changes are effective immediately and are a direct result of recommendations made by the Harbor Safety Committee following a review of commercial 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 reconfigured anchorage area should greatly reduce the potential for future commercial vessel groundings by eliminating the former anchorage area located between the second and third coral reefs,” said Capt. Karl Schultz, captain of the port and chairman of the Port Everglades Harbor Safety Committee. “While the new anchorage area is approximately 13 percent smaller, the new configuration is expected to continue to meet the needs of ships conducting business in Port Everglades, a key regional economic engine.”

The changes to the existing Port Everglades commercial vessel anchorage were:

1. Eliminating the section of the anchorage closet 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.

“The new anchorage configuration represents a giant step forward in attempting to solve ship anchor and grounding issues at the Port Everglades anchorage,” said Richard Dodge, Ph.D., dean and professor of the NSU Oceanographic Center and Executive Director, National Coral Reef Institute. “The reconfiguration was a partnership effort amongst all the stakeholders and represents a joint effort to both preserve the anchorage function and to protect the invaluable reef resources.”

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 Coral Reef Conservation Program, 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.

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