Mooring Buoys

White sphere with blue stripe attached to a yellow rope floating in the ocean with boat in the background
Mooring buoys help prevent damage to fragile coral reefs

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Mooring buoys help preserve the fragile coral reef ecosystem by preventing anchors, ropes and chains from striking and damaging coral. They also provide a convenient way to secure boats. Mooring buoys are located adjacent to some of the more popular reefs in the park and more are on the way.

What does a mooring buoy look like?

Mooring buoys are hard, white plastic spheres about 18 inches in diameter. They are different from lobster traps which typically use smaller styrofoam balls that are often painted with bright colors.

Where are they?

Mooring buoy locations.


How do I use a mooring buoy?

  • Use caution and idle speed when approaching the buoy. Avoid shallow water. Watch for swimmers and snorkelers.
  • Pass your bow line through the loop and secure both ends to bow cleat. In rough weather or for larger boats, increase the length of your line.
  • Inspect the mooring buoy in the water to be certain it is holding. The park assumes no liability for the use of the buoys.
  • Use is limited to a maximum of four hours per boat.
  • Mooring balls are for vessels up to 45 feet, unless specifically authorized by the park.
  • Do not anchor within 300 feet of a mooring buoy.
  • Report any problems, such as broken or frayed lines (305) 230-1144.

What if a mooring buoy is not available?

Anchor in sandy areas and downwind from the reef in order to keep the anchor line from dragging across the reef (which could cause damage to the reef and result in a substantial fine). Use five to seven times the length of rope as the depth of the water (in rough seas use more line). Do not anchor within 300 feet of a mooring buoy. Snorkel or dive to check that the anchor and line are secure and not touching any coral. Please do your part to help protect our reef and our national park.

The Boating and Angling Guide to Biscayne Bay is an interactive map with information on resources and facilities to help you plan your trip.
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2 minutes, 6 seconds

A short informational video about mooring buoys in their park, their purpose, and how to use them.

Last updated: September 20, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

9700 SW 328th Street
Sir Lancelot Jones Way

Homestead, FL 33033


305 230-1144

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