Coast Guard schedules Island public hearing on removal of navigational aids

Familiar buoys slated to be removed include those marking the passage through Robinsons Hole and buoys in Vineyard Haven and Edgartown harbors.

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The Coast Guard is proposing to remove the buoys that mark the channel through Robinsons Hole, seen here looking north.

The U.S. Coast Guard will hold a public hearing Sept. 22 on Martha’s Vineyard on a controversial proposal to remove or change 43 aids to navigation (ATON) in the vicinity of Martha’s Vineyard.

These include seven buoys marking the passage through Robinsons Hole; the buoy on the corner of Lucas Shoal; the Lone Rock Buoy 1 and the Oak Bluffs Harbor Approach Obstruction Buoy; Vineyard Haven Buoy 4; and Edgartown Harbor Channel Buoy 9.

The Coast Guard outlined the proposed changes In a marine safety information bulletin issued in May. The Coast Guard maintains there is no risk to public safety. “Our review suggests that the 43 aids identified in this proposal consume Coast Guard (and taxpayer) resources that exceed any navigation safety benefit delivered to the boating public,” the Coast Guard said in a public notice.

Local officials disagree. In a letter dated June 7, James Lobdell, chairman of the Tisbury harbor management committee, asked the Coast Guard to reconsider the removal of Buoy 4, and listed a set of reasons that included  the fact that it provides “for traffic separation between large vessels, ferries, cruise ships, tugs and barges, and large yachts, and the hundreds of small recreational vessels that visit and berth in Vineyard Haven.”

Mr. Lobdell also asked the Coast Guard to reconsider the removal of the buoys in Robinsons Hole. “Robinsons Hole with its strong currents and crooked channel will become very dangerous without buoys,” he said.

The hearing is from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Thursday, Sept. 22, in the Katharine Cornell Theater in Vineyard Haven.

CoastGuardLight List No.NAMERECOMMENDED ACTION
1.     17440Westport Harbor Approach LBB “WH”Disestablish & Remove
2.     16786Inez Rock Buoy “11”Disestablish & Remove
3.     17060Mattapoisett Harbor Buoy “2”Disestablish & Remove
4.     17090Mattapoisett Harbor Buoy “8”Disestablish & Remove
5.     17100Mattapoisett Harbor Buoy “10”Disestablish & Remove
6.     16335Quissett Harbor Buoy “4”Disestablish & Remove
7.     17080Mattapoisett Harbor Buoy “6”Relocate
8.     16330Quissett Harbor Buoy “2”Relocate
9.     16095Cleveland Ledge LBB “2”Remove sound signal
10.16120Cleveland Ledge LGB “7”Remove sound signal
11.  16035Buzzards Bay LBB “6”Remove sound signal
12.16050Buzzards Bay LGB “8”Remove sound signal
13.16060Buzzards Bay LGB “10”Remove sound signal
14.16055Buzzards Bay LBB “BB”Remove sound signal
15.15675Little Harbor Buoy “9”Disestablish & Remove
16.15680Little Harbor Buoy “10”Disestablish & Remove
17.15875Robinson’s Hole Buoy “1”Disestablish & Remove
18.15880Robinson’s Hole Buoy “3”Disestablish & Remove
19.15885Robinson’s Hole Buoy “4”Disestablish & Remove
20.15890Robinson’s Hole Buoy “6”Disestablish & Remove
21.15895Robinson’s Hole Buoy “8”Disestablish & Remove
22.15900Robinson’s Hole Buoy “10”Disestablish & Remove
23.15905Robinson’s Hole Buoy “11”Disestablish & Remove
24.13535Pollock Rip LGB “4”Remove sound signal
25.13545Pollock Rip LBB “6”Remove sound signal
26.13565Pollock Rip LBB “10”Remove sound signal
27.13640Great Round Shoal LBB “13”Remove sound signal
28.14055Saquatucket Buoy “8”Disestablish & Remove
29.14060Saquatucket Buoy “9”Disestablish & Remove
30.14515Hyannis Harbor Approach LBB “HH”Disestablish & Remove
31.14525Hyannis Harbor LB “4”Disestablish & Remove
32.14710Channel RkDisestablish & Remove
33.14720Gannet Ledge “6”Disestablish & Remove
34.14725Spindle Rock “8”Disestablish & Remove
35.14730Cotuit Anchorage LBB “1”Disestablish & Remove
36.15295Madaket Harbor Approach LBB “2”Disestablish & Remove
37.15375Muskeget Channel Buoy “5”Disestablish & Remove
38.15425Edgartown Harbor Buoy “9”Disestablish & Remove
39.15440Lone Rock Buoy “1”Disestablish & Remove
40.15455Oak Bluffs Junction Buoy*Disestablish & Remove
41.15465Vineyard Haven Buoy “4”Disestablish & Remove
42.15590Lucas Shoal Buoy “LS”Disestablish & Remove
43.16315Cuttyhunk East Entrance LBB “CH”Disestablish & Remove