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Home Government City of Rye Milton Harbor Buoys To Be Removed by US Coast Guard

Milton Harbor Buoys To Be Removed by US Coast Guard

(PHOTO: The buoys in Milton Harbor often flop over at low tide, showing how silted and narrow the channel is for mariners.)
(PHOTO: The buoys in Milton Harbor often flop over at low tide, showing how silted and narrow the channel is for mariners.)

(This story was updated Tuesday evening.)

Citing extreme shoaling, the US Coast Guard will remove its federal navigational aids from Rye’s Milton Harbor. The decision will leave the harbor without the recognizable buoys used by boaters in waterways across the country for safe passage. The decision, originally expected at the end of February, was issued the current United States Coast Guard Local Notice to Mariners for District 1.

The notice says the City of Rye plans to establish private navigational aids. The Coast Guard will remove its buoys, and will establish a “Milton Harbor Hazard Buoy marked DANGER EXTREME SHOALING AHEAD”.

“Mariners are advised to use extreme caution if transiting this area due to the extreme
shoaling that exists,” the Coast Guard said in its notice. Buoy removal is imminent but the exact date in unknown at this time.

Rye’s City Manager Greg Usry said all the changes will be seamless to Rye mariners. “The City is committed to keeping the channel marked and the Coast Guard has committed to working with us so that there is no timing gap,” Usry told MyRye.com on Tuesday. “The channel will be marked without interruption. We are currently contracting to have all of the buoys replaced with our own private aids to navigation.”

The City is in the public comment period with the Army Corp of Engineers for the dredge permits and expects to be permitted by early summer. New York Department of Environmental Conservation and Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection permits are also in process. Subject to Rye City Council approval of funding, the City hopes to be in a position to undertake the dredge of Milton Harbor over the 2022-23 winter.

“This [the removal of navigation aids] is the first step in trying to undesignate this as a federal channel,” said Joe Pecora, chair of the Boat Basin Commission to MyRye.com back in February. “And when that happens, we’ll never ever have a chance of any funding.” But the Coast Guard notice promises “These aids will be re-established when the planned dredging is completed with a current survey.”

Muddy waters ahead.

The news comes as summer boating season is just around the corner.

(PHOTO: The red circles show the location of the ten buoys the US Coast Guard is proposing to remove from Milton Harbor.)
(PHOTO: The red circles show the location of the ten buoys the US Coast Guard is proposing to remove from Milton Harbor.)

2 COMMENTS

  1. Decades of mismanagement and neglect are now forcing the City of Rye to bear the responsibility and liability of marking the Milton Harbor Channel. Sedimentation in the Municipal Boat Basin and shoaling of the Channel has been an issue for more than 5 years and the CoR still does not have a comprehensive plan.

  2. Was out there already this season and half the markers are gone if it wasn’t for my gps I would of run aground. Seamless transition I think not.

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