Anchors: Keep off the seagrass Featured

It can cause a big impact even if your are a conservationist billionaire. What is it ? Your mega yacht Anchor! MY Tatoosh, Paul Allen's (Microsoft's Co-founder) 300-foot yacht, damaged up to 80% of protected coral reef with its anchor chain in the Cayman Islands two weeks ago, according to the islands' Department of Environment.

Ironically, Allen now works to "save endangered species," and "improve ocean health" through his charitable foundation and research projects. Vulcan Inc., the company that manages Allen's business, released a statement placing the blame on the Port Authority.

"MY Tatoosh was moored in a position explicitly directed by the local Port Authority. When its crew was alerted by a diver that her anchor chain may have impacted coral in the area, the crew promptly, and on their own accord, relocated their position to ensure the reef was protected," the statement provided to Business Insider reads. "Vulcan and the ship's crew are actively and cooperatively working with local authorities to determine the details of what happened."

“Since the incident occurred, Mr. Allen and Vulcan have taken steps to develop a remediation plan to restore the reef,” the statement said. “We took this step even though extensive past and recent damage to this same reef, as a result of other incidents, makes it difficult to determine what, if any, actual damage was caused by the Tatoosh.

We still remember last summer that a MegaYacht of over 100 mt in Formentera, with its irregular anchoring destroyed over an hectar of Posidonia Oceanica known as Sea Grass. This area apart from its environmental value had a value of over 14.500 euros and it was wiped away in less than 24 hours by the unpunished Yacht, we really hope that this note will help our awareness before we choose where to drop an anchor next time. 
The Sea Grass also play an important role in the processes concerning beach and dune systems, modelling the sedimentary processes because is compacts the beaches' sand. The Posidonia oceanica dead leaves that one can find in the shore act as a natural dock reducing the energy of the waves, minimizing erosion. From a global point of view, scientists estimate that 12% of the net ecosistemic production of the world is a contribution from the ecosystems of Posidonia oceanica.
The main threats for the meadows are the maritime constructions, the pollution of near-shore waters, the anchoring, the beach nourishment with sand and the elimination of the Posidonia oceanica dead leaves on the beach sand. For more info click here
In two decades, every day has lost an area of our coast like eight football fields. The Coastal Act should not be reformed, but apply it correctly because:
 The Coastal Act guarantees the public and free use of the coast. Defend our beaches, bays, dunes, cliffs and estuaries is to protect the common good.
  The Coastal Act must be an insurance against speculation and corruption in our coast.
  The Coastal Act safeguards the economic value of the coast. A well maintained coast generates profits of 8,000 million euros a year and more jobs than a degraded coast.
  The Coastal Act ensures the health of the coast. A healthy coast is the base for fishing and shellfishing, as the nursery of species is crucial for the future of the sector.
  The Coastal Act allows installation in our local beaches, restaurants, terraces, etc., provided they meet the legislation.
  The Coastal Act supports new models of tourism development, investing in reforming the existing infrastructure without building new ones.
  The Coastal Act ensures public safety, avoiding the building up of dangerous areas or temporary flood risk.
  The Coastal Act prevents produce an amnesty for those who have damaged the coast.
  The Coastal Act is aligned with the European Union, which requires urban transparency and combating corruption.
  The Coastal Act has the backing of the Spanish courts, which have failed in 95% of cases for the general interest and not special interests.
A reform of the Coastal Act, in the terms set by the government, where only a few would be favored, with a review of shoreline demarcated (with over 90% done), would be a real factor of legal uncertainty and would involve a huge cost would all pay with our tax money.
Therefore, it is necessary to reform the law of costs, but apply it correctly for the future generations.
Join to help stop the reform of the Coastal Act and to defend a coast .Login to join public and well maintained, free of speculation and to encourage economic activities with low environmental impact.

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