The United States Coast Guard uses navigational buoys to direct water traffic and to protect vulnerable benthic ecosystems such as seagrass communities and coral reefs in U.S. waters. However, most buoys are currently attached to the seafloor by concrete anchors, also called sinkers, and heavy metal chains that can have just as significant an impact on marine life themselves. Sinkers can damage life on the seafloor under their heavy footprint, and when the connecting chains are lax, they can scrape off seagrasses, seaweeds and corals around the sinkers as waves and wind push the buoys around.
(DHSVideo by Science & Technology Directorate/Released)
Date: Mar 31, 2021