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Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com

10 Commercial Vessel Anchorages Proposed for Hudson River Draw Focus of National Boating Group

Deadline for Comments September 7

The Hudson River could see a significant increase in anchored articulated barges under a proposal by the Maritime Association of the Port of New York/New Jersey.
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NEW YORK, NY, August 22, 2016 – New York Harbor commercial marine interests have asked the US Coast Guard to consider 10 commercial vessel anchorages on the Hudson River from Yonkers to Kingston. If approved, the anchorages, totaling more than 2,400 acres, would allow for storage of up to 43 articulated barges carrying Bakken oil between Albany and New York Harbor. The Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) encourages Hudson River boaters to let their voices be heard on the proposal by submitting comments to the US Coast Guard at http://goo.gl/BrFBvc before September 7, 2016.

“We believe in a strong marine transportation system and recognize our country’s energy needs are important,” said BoatUS Government Affairs Manager David Kennedy. “However, we have concerns about the size and scope of the proposal that would site anchorages on waters heavily trafficked by recreational boaters as well as reduce the width and in some cases occupy the navigable channel for all vessels.”

Nine of the 10 anchorages are proposed to be long-term use, alarming environmental groups as well as BoatUS. “We are concerned they may unduly restrict recreational boaters’ freedom to navigate,” added Kennedy. There are 62 recreational boat marinas and community boat clubs and 13 recreational boat launch ramps that line the river from Yonkers to Kingston.

In January, the Maritime Association of the Port of New York/New Jersey, Tug and Barge Committee, wrote to the US Coast Guard First District Commander RADM Linda Fagan:

“For several years the United States of America has developed as a major energy-producing nation and the great port of Albany as a leading export port for Jones Act trade of American Bakken Crude Oil and Ethanol. Trade will increase on the Hudson River significantly over the next few years with the lifting of the ban on American Crude exports for foreign trade and federally designated anchorages are key to supporting trade.”

The Maritime Association proposal and maps of the proposed anchorages can be found at http://goo.gl/BrFBvc.

For safety reasons, recreational boaters routinely avoid transiting active commercial anchorages. The proposed “Roseton Anchorage” would establish three 1,700-foot swing circles of 3,400 feet diameter immediately adjacent to the 135-year-old Chelsea Yacht Club and its mooring field, which harbors more than 100 boats. “This is simply too close for comfort and could essentially place a steel wall between the boaters and the river,” said Kennedy.

The proposal’s “Yonkers Extension” anchorage would have 16 2,400-foot diameter swing circles on the western side of the Hudson River channel spanning more than seven miles from Yonkers to Dobbs Ferry, potentially restricting navigation on 715 acres of river. Other proposed anchorages such as the Milton, Marlboro and Port Ewen would consume half the width of the Hudson or more, claiming 274 acres of river. Five swing circles proposed for the anchorage at Newburgh are 3,600 feet in diameter, claiming a significant portion of the middle of Newburgh Bay.

Kennedy further noted, “While BoatUS understands the goal of the proposed new anchorage grounds, we also strongly believe that all uses of the waterway including recreational boating and fishing need to be considered in the management of this limited shared resource.” He added, “Anchorages can mitigate temporary concerns, such as waiting for fog to clear, however, there needs to be a thoughtful review of the proposal acknowledging all users to reduce user conflicts and mitigate the significant loss of public access on the waterway.”

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New York Harbor commercial marine interests have asked the US Coast Guard to consider 10 commercial vessel anchorages on the Hudson River from Yonkers to Kingston, New York. If approved, the anchorages totaling more than 2,400 acres would allow storage of up to 43 articulated barges carrying Bakken oil between Albany and New York Harbor. The Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) encourages Hudson River boaters to let their voices be heard on the proposal by submitting comments to the US Coast Guard before September 7 at http://goo.gl/BrFBvc

About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):

Celebrating 50 years in 2016, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with over a half million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We help ensure a roadside breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins, and on the water, we bring boaters safely back to the launch ramp or dock when their boat won’t, day or night. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program gives boat owners the specialized coverage and superior service they need, and we help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the non-profit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.