Anchorage Inventory
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About These Comparisons

The Most Important Criteria gives an overall rating for each anchorage, based on boaters' top four anchorage selection criteria: storm protection, bottom holding, scenic beauty, and tranquility. Ratings for each of these four criteria are also indicated for each anchorage in the table. Site ratings are based on the opinions of surveyed boaters who used and evaluated these anchorages. This information will help you plan an enjoyable and safe trip.

Recreational Characteristics are generally considered to be of secondary importance. Special waterfront dining facilities are included under "Entertainment." Anchorages where shorefront residents and businesses cater to visiting boaters are listed under "Hospitality." It may be difficult to find a pristine, well-protected area that also provides support facilities and recreational amenities. Therefore, for many anchorages, the overall Recreational Characteristics ratings differ from the Most Important Criteria scores.

Shoreside Profiles offer additional information on the characteristics of shoreline development bordering the anchorage and the intensity of anchorage use.

Anchorage Use Profiles indicate whether an anchorage has low or high use or is "undiscovered" by most boaters. Devotees of small craft water sports, such as skiing and operating personal watercraft, at times may preempt the sheltered waters of some anchorages. This table indicates the likelihood of such use. It also suggests whether an anchorage is in fact popular or highly used for anchoring.

Anchorage Size and Restrictions show categories based on the following criteria for normal weather conditions: Small size: 10 vessels or fewer; Medium size: 11-20 vessels; Large size: more than 20 vessels. Sixty percent of the anchorages are classified as small, while 20 percent are in the large category. Small size anchorages generally are stressed when the number of boats exceeds the suggested limit. Stress may take several forms: environmental impacts from anchoring on sensitive marine habitats such as sea grass beds; and community conflicts through crowding, noise, pollution, traffic, or trespassing. "Yes" in the Local Restrictions column means local entities impose restrictions on visiting vessels. (Further information on these restrictions is on the Local Restrictions page.) You can also determine from this table if an anchorage is located in an aquatic preserve, meaning that the area has received special recognition by the State of Florida for its environmental quality and importance.

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