The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Parks) has identified 35 public recreational mooring buoys across western Washington that are at risk of breaking in the future.

Starting in mid-november, Parks closed these buoys, which the agency plans to replace. Even though individual buoys are closed, the impacted parks will still have other mooring buoys available for use.

Parks maintains 259 mooring buoys at 40 parks across Puget Sound, Hood Canal, the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas, and the San Juan Islands. Of these parks, 16 will be affected by partial buoy closures. They are:

  • Blake Island
  • Clark Island
  • Cutts Island
  • Fort Flagler
  • Fort Townsend
  • Fort Worden
  • Illahee
  • Jones Island
  • Kopachuck
  • Mystery Bay
  • Potlach
  • Sequim Bay
  • Stuart Island, Provost Harbor
  • Stuart Island, Reid Harbor
  • Sucia Island, Fox Cove
  • Twanoh

The agency plans to replace the existing anchors with modern helical screw-type anchors. Planners anticipate installing the new anchor systems in winter 2024 – 2025, pending permitting and funding. The 35 buoys will be closed until further notice.

When finished, the upgraded systems will allow boats to safely tie up, and they will limit impacts on eelgrass, fish, marine mammals and other fragile shallow marine environments.

Using mooring buoys is important to help protect sensitive eelgrass habitats from anchor impact. Each buoy is designed for a single vessel up to 45 feet in length. Boaters cannot raft or tie multiple boats together when using mooring buoys.

To report a damaged buoy, please contact the Parks information center via email at or by phone at (360)-902-8844.

State parks are a top destination for cruising, sail and power boaters. Buoys are $15 per night and available on a first-come first-served basis. Learn more about State Parks mooring buoys.