Coast Guard OKs new deepwater anchorage off Virginia

The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(PORTSMOUTH, Va.) — Rear Adm. Keith Smith, commander of 5th Coast Guard District, signed a final rule establishing a new deepwater anchorage near Cape Charles and relocating an existing quarantine anchorage to an area farther south in the lower Chesapeake Bay, which was published in the Federal Register on Thursday. 

The new commercial anchorage will facilitate safe navigation of maritime commerce and national defense assets, and more safely and effectively support commercial vessel anchoring needs in the lower Chesapeake Bay. 

In 2016 the Coast Guard began exploring the establishment of a formal anchorage near Cape Charles to address the growing trend of deep-draft vessels anchoring in the area. In establishing this anchorage, the Coast Guard considered feedback on the notice of proposed rule-making, which included three public meetings and 84 written comments.

“The Coast Guard facilitates $5.4 trillion in commerce through the Maritime Transportation System annually,” said Smith. “Formally establishing this anchorage, where ships already anchor, and moving the quarantine anchorage helps ensure the safety of the MTS. It also protects the Chesapeake Bay by reducing potential pollution threats through regulation of the area.”

By Professional Mariner Staff