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Private Mooring Buoys

Private mooring buoys used to secure vessels off-shore have recently come into focus with GBA. One particular case of a vessel being docked beside a small island where there was no room to expand to provide long term accommodations for guests and family.

The shortcomings of the current system came to light when the only notice for an application in the Township of Georgian Bay (TGB) was posted in a Midland local newspaper and TGB was not informed. GBA has therefore recommended a number of changes to ensure transparency and communication to all stakeholders on applications for new private mooring buoys. The Ministry can only address hazards to navigation with regard to these applications. Other issues, such as visual and sound impacts on neighbours, and potential water quality problems, would have to be addressed by the municipality.

GBA drafted a letter to the Director General of the Navigation Protection Program at the Federal Ministry of Transportation:

GBA Letter on Private Mooring Buoy Applications Mar 3 2020

In addition to potential navigational hazards, there is concern around adding private mooring buoys to islands, or other properties, with limited/insufficient accommodation, in order to create additional bedrooms and party areas for long term visitors during the summer. This usually results in neighbours being adversely affected both visually, and by the noise from activities on large, often obtrusive, vessels. Furthermore long term stays such as this in one location may lead to nutrients and bacteria entering the local waterbody and adversely affecting water quality for local residents.

We recommend that municipalities consider these issues and be prepared to deal with them as necessary. This matter is linked to some extent to development pressures, which are gathering momentum from the steadily increasing population in the GTA, and moving inexorably northward up the Bay.

It is important to note that the process to approve new private mooring buoys is different from the process for private navigation buoys. For details on private navigation buoys, please visit: https://georgianbay.ca/boating/private-navigation-bouys/

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