Funding Cuts Kill Port San Luis Weather Buoy

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Posted by on December 07, 2004 at 10:58:10:

SANTA MARIA (AP) - The Port San Luis weather buoy has been removed because of funding cuts, and more data-gathering buoys along the Central Coast could be lost for the same reason, port officials said.

The buoy, established in 1997 and paid for by the federal Minerals Management Service, was removed Nov. 21 by the National Data Buoy Center.

Many boaters and fishermen used data generated by the buoy to determine whether it was safe to travel offshore.

“The wind, wave, and sea temperature were very helpful and provided good data to protect lives and property as well as helped to stimulate the local economy in the local fishing communities of Port San Luis and Morro Bay,” Port Manager Jay Elder said.

The California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains has also urged re-establishment of the weather buoy.

“The buoy (18 miles SSW of Morro Bay) is critically important to the safety of recreational and commercial boaters traversing a dangerous, ever-changing stretch of the California coast,” CAHMPC president Mick Kronman said in a letter to the National Data Buoy Center.

Kronman urged individual boaters, marina operators, harbormasters, and businesses in the interest of boating safety to send letters to the center and their representative in Congress, strongly urging the re-establishment of this vital informational equipment.

Letters should be sent to Paul Moreorsdorf, Director, National Data Buoy Center, 1100 Balch Blvd., Stennis Space Center MS 39529, Kronman said.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, federal budget cuts threatened to discontinue many buoys, but public support helped keep them in operation.

The Log News Service contributed to this report.

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