SEMI-FROZEN WATERS are seen recently off Mere Point in Brunswick.

SEMI-FROZEN WATERS are seen recently off Mere Point in Brunswick.

BRUNSWICK

Those who moor their vessels in Brunswick’s coastal waters may need to get up to speed on 12 pages of updates and recommendations to the town’s ordinance.

A town council hearing is set on Feb. 23 on the updated regulations.

Under the proposal, all moorings must be registered with the town by June 1 each year, beginning with this year. Moorings must also be inspected every two years.

Under the ordinance, moorings are not allowed in certain environmentally sensitive areas, including shellfish or eelgrass habitat, or in the presence of “important recreational or commercial fishing ground(s).”

The draft also helps further define the role of the harbor master, giving him or her the authority to carry a weapon and make arrests if that person completes law enforce- ment training requirements.

What’s missing in the ordinance, according to resident Joe Caruso, is a provision allowing those who live inland to moor in intertidal waters.

In Brunswick, any coastal landowner with 100 feet or more of shorefront property can moor a vessel, according to the town ordinance. However, other than mooring at a private marina, there is no legal way someone living further inland in Brunswick can moor a vessel.

Caruso of Collinsbrook Road — a decidedly landlocked portion of Brunswick — presented to the council on Monday his denied application for a mooring at Mere Point.

“I’m a taxpayer. I could go to Freeport and have a mooring and get on their waiting list,” Caruso said. “I should be able to do that in my own hometown.”

Unlike Freeport, Brunswick does not have a harbor, said Dan Devereaux, the town’s marine resource officer and harbor master.

Brunswick also has a limited number of deep-water areas, which lie off Mere Point and portions of New Meadows River.

Nearly a year ago, the town adopted a harbor plan, while leaving open the possibility that those living inland may be able to moor their vessels in Brunswick coastal waters.

That plan also calls for the town to develop ways to regulate and inspect moorings, as well as for the creation of a municipal mooring field, similar to what is done in Freeport.

Changes to the town’s ordinance regarding mooring and mooring fees come from the town’s Rivers and Coastal Waters Commission, formed in March 2014.

The commission will also be recommending how much to charge for a mooring fee.

Town Council Vice Chairman Steve Walker on Monday said that a public mooring field “is a priority action in the harbor management plan.”

“It is on the radar screen,” Walker said.

The commission has held 18 public meetings over the last 10 months, resulting in a draft of regulations pertaining to marine activities, structures and ways that has come before the council, according to a memo from commission Chairman Mark Worthing.

There are about 350 moorings in town waters, with 148 of those at Paul’s Marina on Eastern Shore Road, said Devereaux.

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THERE ARE ABOUT 350 moorings in Brunswick’s town waters, with 148 of those at Paul’s Marina on Eastern Shore Road.


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