Anchoring Restrictions Along East Coast of U.S. to Affect Cruisers


With the summer cruising season in full swing, cities from Maryland to Florida are considering or are in the process of implementing restrictions on anchoring, both for transient and local boats. In many cases, these restrictions are in response to problems directly caused by derelict boats in the harbors. However, most will affect cruisers as well as locals. Here’s a rundown of the various proposals under consideration and in the implementation process, plus links you can click for additional information:

Annapolis, MD
Annapolis officials, faced with a petition from Mears Marina asking that they restrict anchoring in the area adjacent to the marina on Back Creek, will hold a hearing June 28 to gather public input on the proposal. The proposed restrictions would affect only a small portion of Back Creek. However, Annapolis Harbormaster J.P. “Flip” Walters tells Waterway Guide that if a no-anchoring zone is approved off Mears Marina, other marina owners on Back Creek are likely to ask for similar restrictions near their own facilities.

Carolina Beach, NC
Carolina Beach (Atlantic ICW Mile 295) is moving ahead with plans to install a field of 10 moorings in Myrtle Grove Sound directly off of town in an area that has fallen out of favor for anchoring due to poor holding. Town officials say they hope the moorings, plus a new dinghy landing, will encourage cruisers and other boaters to visit Carolina Beach and will help to revitalize the town’s waterfront. The moorings should be in place by this fall.

St. Augustine, FL
St. Augustine will continue to gather public feedback on its proposed anchoring restrictions at a workshop scheduled for June 30. St. Augustine city officials continue to mull over potential anchoring restrictions outside of the mooring fields installed earlier this year around the Bridge of Lions (Atlantic ICW Mile 778) and in Salt Run. The city is one of five municipalities participating in the pilot Florida program run by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) that allows municipalities to place moorings and regulate anchoring on a trial basis. St. Augustine’s proposed 10-day limit on anchoring generated some controversy at a public workshop in late May, with cruiser representatives arguing that anchoring should be allowed for much longer than 10 days at a stretch.

For the complete list of affected anchorage restrictions, go to


Author: Blue Water Sailing