At the Ocean Conservation Trust to provide relief to mooring pressures on sensitive habitats we have developed the Stirling Advanced Mooring Systems.
The most impactive element of a standard mooring configuration is the chain dragging on the seabed creating a halo of scour where vital habitats are fragmented. The Stirling Advanced Mooring System uses a series of mid water floats removing the damaging chain from the seabed and allowing sensitive features to grow around the mooring. Our approach is to work with the boating community and harbour authority to find a solution that is satisfactory to all whilst safeguarding our seabed communities. The innovative new riser design 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 trialed an innovative method of attaching the mooring riser to the seabed. Traditionally a heavy sinker block normally consisting of concrete is deployed, this sinker has a large footprint in the sensitive habitat so to remove damage we have worked with anchor manufacturers and mooring service providers to deploy helical screw anchors in seagrass beds reducing 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 trialing the design in several places around the U.K. with positive results.
How will this help the Ocean?
Mooring in sensitive habitats causes damage and fragmentation of the habitat which subsequently makes it more prone to the influence of other stresses and degradation.
By finding workable solutions so that people may enjoy the environment but have less of an impact we are allowing both people and nature to coexist where previously there have been detrimental impacts from human activity.
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 Oceans we are also helping our local communities.