Rear Adm. Keith Smith, commander of Fifth Coast Guard District, signed a final rule establishing a new deep-water anchorage near Cape Charles and relocating an existing quarantine anchorage to an area further south in the lower Chesapeake Bay, which was published to the Federal Register, Thursday.
The new commercial anchorage will facilitate safe navigation of maritime commerce and national defense assets, and more safely and effectively support commercial vessel anchoring needs in the lower Chesapeake Bay.
In 2016 the Coast Guard began exploring the establishment of a formal anchorage near Cape Charles to address the growing trend of deep draft vessels anchoring in the area. In establishing this anchorage, the Coast Guard considered feedback on the Notice of Proposed Rule-Making, which included three public meetings and 84 written comments.
“The Coast Guard facilitates $5.4 trillion in commerce through the Maritime Transportation System annually,” said Smith. “Formally establishing this anchorage, where ships already anchor, and moving the quarantine anchorage helps ensure the safety of the MTS. It also protects the Chesapeake Bay by reducing potential pollution threats through regulation of the area.”