We’ve taken the first steps towards introducing Environmentally Friendly Moorings (EFMs) into Gold Coast waters.

As part of our Buoy Mooring Management Strategy , and in partnership  with Healthy Land and Water (HLW,) we’ve supported the installation of 22 EFMs in the southern part of the Moreton Bay Marine Park at Jacobs Well (pictured above) and Steiglitz (Cabbage Tree Point.)

The EFMs replace the traditional block and tackle swing moorings that generally consist of a heavy block that sits on the seabed attached to tackle, typically a heavy chain which is attached to another chain and/or rope and a mooring buoy.

The chains drag along the seabed as the vessel moves with the wind and tide, disturbing the seabed and damaging seagrass. The seagrass provides food and shelter for marine species such as juvenile fish, dugongs, turtles, crabs and seahorses. Seagrass meadows also help stabilise seabeds and shorelines, reducing erosion.

EFMs, by contrast, typically use a screwed-in mooring post as the anchor point with a swivel head and a specialised shock absorber which connects to a cable rope and surface buoy. This means that apart from the anchor, none of the equipment contacts the seafloor. Without a heavy chain dragging on the seafloor, the EFMs allow vessels to swing around more freely and frequently without causing a dragging motion, reducing constant shading of marine plants which can limit growth.

HLW will monitor the area over a number of years to assess how well the seagrass beds are recovering following the installation of the new moorings.

GCWA and Healthy Land and Water worked closely with existing buoy mooring owners to transition them to the EFMs.

In line with the Buoy Mooring Management Strategy, our Board has decided that from mid-2024, every buoy mooring will transition to an EFM.

You can read more about our Buoy Mooring Management Strategy here https://gcwa.qld.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/BuoyMooringMStrategyFinalAug17.pdf