At the Ocean Conservation Trust, we have developed the Stirling Advanced Mooring Systems to provide relief to sensitive habitats under pressure due to traditional moorings.
Traditional mooring systems have been shown to cause damage to delicate habitats such as seagrass beds, which act as a nursery for fish stocks, help to prevent coastal erosion and absorb carbon from the atmosphere.
The most damaging element of a standard mooring system is the chain, which drags along the seabed and disturbs and damages plants. The Stirling Advanced Mooring System uses a series of mid-water floats which elevate the chain from the seabed and allow habitats such as seagrass to continue to grow, undisturbed.
In order to create widespread change that will protect our Ocean habitats moving forward, we are working with the boating community and harbour authority to find a solution that is satisfactory to all. The innovative new riser design of the Advances Stirling Mooring System minimises damage caused to environmentally important seagrass beds by traditional mooring systems, allowing them to regenerate over time.
Taking our protection of seagrass meadows one step further, we have trialled an innovative method of attaching the mooring riser to the seabed. Traditionally, a heavy concrete sinker block is deployed, but this leaves a large footprint in the sensitive habitat – In order to mitigate this, we have worked with anchor manufacturers and mooring service providers to deploy helical screw anchors in their place, which reduce mooring impacts even further.
The Sterling Advance Mooring System is a fully customisable and interchangeable solution that is suitable for any environmental deployment within the U.K. We are currently trialling the design in several places around the U.K., with promising results recorded so far.
How will this help the Ocean?
The damage traditional mooring systems can cause to habitats makes them more prone to the influence of other stressors.
By finding workable solutions that will allow people to continue to enjoy the environment whilst having a lesser impact on the environment, we are allowing both people and nature to peacefully coexist.
A healthier and more robust habitat is more productive, and when this crucial habitat provides coastal human communities with so many benefits by helping our Ocean, we’re not just helping the habitat – we’re helping them, too.