What is a Mooring Field?

A mooring field is a legally defined area within a body of water. In Florida a mooring field is established by local ordinance, codifying a management plan that regulates activity within the mooring field.

Customers of the mooring field are assigned a mooring, and can then secure their boat to the mooring buoy which is attached to permanent anchors. Mooring buoys provide an organized, secure way to protect boats and the environment.


The natural beauty of the environment and unique destinations coupled with accessibility to major waterways make Martin County a prime destination for boaters year round. Both locals and cruisers often welcome the opportunity to be responsible stewards of the environment.

Through the use of mooring facilities, boaters don’t unintentionally harm sea grass beds with their anchors, and due to the exceptional holding capacity of moorings, the vessels are well secured, protecting vessels as well as shore side infrastructure.

With managed mooring fields there are substantial benefits:

To the environment: Pump-out services are required for boats in the mooring field, and the illegal discharge of solid or liquid waste into the waterway can be substantially curbed. The use of mooring buoys helps protect sea grass and the sea floor from anchor dragging. Derelict boats can be identified and removed.

To safety: Moorings offer much greater holding strength than anchors and allow for fewer break-away vessels. Boats are kept out of illegal or inconvenient places in the waterway. At night, vessels are required to display anchor lights for greater safety. Only boats that are in good operational condition, capable of maneuvering under their own power and displaying current registration or documentation, are authorized in the moorings fields. Boats are able to swing with the wind and the current without hitting other boats.

To the local economy: Well-run mooring fields attract tourists to an area like Martin County, where tourism is a major contributor to the economy. They also benefit the marine industry, a significant component of the local economy. The mooring field itself generates revenues, which go back into the operations and maintenance of the facility. Mooring field patrons use local services and products, such as boat repairs, groceries, shopping, dining, medical supplies, and entertainment venues.

To the boating community: Boaters can stay on their own boat in a mooring field at less cost than at a marina slip, can tie up and let their boat swing with the wind and the tide without impacting other boats, and have access to amenities like restrooms, showers, and land-based activities.

Learn more about mooring fields via the FAQs and definitions on this page, and learn more about the proposed mooring field projects in the Manatee Pocket and Jensen Beach.