Skip to Content

Coast Guard announces Mile Buoy will stay near Santa Cruz

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION-TV) -- The U.S. Coast Guard announced Friday night the "mile buoy" near Santa Cruz will stay in the water.

In a statement, the Coast Guard said "positive engagement from the Santa Cruz maritime community" led to the agency's decision not to remove the buoy.

“The Coast Guard extends its sincere appreciation to the maritime community of Santa Cruz for their active participation in the formal process concerning navigation safety decisions,” said Capt. Steven Ramassini.

People initially voiced their concerns about the buoy being removed, calling it a crucial tool for knowing how far out the harbor is from where they are in the water.

U.S. Coast Guard proposes to remove Mile Buoy in Santa Cruz

The U.S. Coast Guard is considering removing a mile buoy used to symbolize when boaters are nearing land.

This red and white buoy located south of the Santa Cruz Harbor serves thousands of fisherman, boaters, and kayakers. 

The mile buoy is a reference point for mariners to be directed from land. 

“It’s an essential marker, it’s the way that boaters find their way home when they want to come back to the harbor they see the mile buoy and they know that it is the edge of the reef," Former O’Neill Sea Odyssey Director Dan Haifley said.

The U.S. Coast Guard is considering replacing the mile buoy with a virtual aid. This means while the physical buoy is gone, a virtual one is available to boaters with a gps.

The City of Capitola sent out a letter opposing the removal of the buoy stating, "the city of Capitola believes the Santa Cruz mile buoy is critical and indispensable to the safety of all mariners navigating waters along the Santa Cruz coastline."

The staff at O'Neill Sea Odyssey also hopes the buoy stays.

"We use the mile buoy every class to be able to come back and then use stem-based mathematics to understand where those students were in the bay and when they took those readings," Current O'Neill Sea Odyssey Executive Director Tracey Weiss says, "So it really provides not only a sense of anchor, but it provides curriculum opportunities for students."

The Coast Guard is requesting comments to why the buoy is necessary for safe navigation.

Comments must be submitted by April 3rd.

You can send your comments to

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories

Jump to comments ↓

Briana Mathaw


KION 46 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content