Coast Guard to Keep More Buoys in Place

CHATHAM – As of last summer, Coast Guard Sector Southeast New England planned on eliminating some of the aids-to-navigation, or buoys, in Robinson’s Hole and other areas.

But many local mariners apparently thought their plan didn’t float.

According to Chief of Waterways Management at the Coast Guard Edward LeBlanc, dozens of comments flooded in during an open comment period regarding their proposed restrictions.

Robinson’s Hole, not far from Buzzards Bay, is a passage well noted as dangerous, especially in comparison to the nearby Quicks Hole.

The original proposition would have eliminated the buoys in Robinson’s Hole and in other waters off of Cape Cod in the hopes of encouraging the public to use what the Coast Guard regards as safer passageways.

“We thought that perhaps those aids were inviting the public to a very dangerous waterway,” LeBlanc said. “But many were concerned that people would continue to use Robinson’s Hole despite no buoys being there, which of course would make it even more treacherous.”

The Waterways Management Division still plans on ridding other routes of what they deem as unnecessary aides-to-navigation, since doing so will ultimately save them lots of time and money.

The upkeep required to maintain buoy’s bells, paint job, and positioning in the water often involves narrow timeframes and other headaches, LaBlanc said. As a result, these procedures are often risky and expensive.

Ultimately, though, LaBlanc said he is pleased that this process demonstrates what he considers “good government.”

“We had one view, we proposed it, learned differently through public comment, and we changed our view,” he said. “We aren’t interested in anything else but getting it right for the mariner, and I think we did that.”

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