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Intracoastal Waterway

Tell NOAA If You Think the IWR Still Needs the 'Magenta Route'

NOAA Chart 11489 shows the so-called magenta line: Image courtesy of NOAA

If you are a recreational boater, fisherman, or another member of the maritime community, NOAA's Office of Coast Survey wants to pick your brain about the "magenta line," which historically depicted the recommended route for the Intracoastal Waterway Route (IWR) on NOAA nautical charts. A recent Federal Register Notice outlines NOAA's options for improving the accuracy of the magenta line, which is presently being removed from new editions of nautical charts. Federal funding does not allow for consistent maintenance of the 3,000-mile (4,800 km) Intracoastal Waterway Route, which runs most of the length of the Eastern Seaboard and around the Gulf of Mexico to Brownsville, Texas. In fact, many portions of the route have not been surveyed since the mid-1930s. Consisting of natural inlets, rivers, bays, and sounds, as well as artificial canals, the Intracoastal Waterway is heavily traveled by recreational boaters who want to avoid the hazards of the open sea. Among these boaters are thousands of "snowbirds" who regularly pilot their recreational vessels south in winter and north in summer. The U.S. Coast Survey especially welcomes your thoughts on the following: Do recreational boaters and/or commercial mariners need a magenta line to depict the specified Intracoastal Waterway Route? If so, should that be a federal government charting responsibility? The deadline for public comments is December 26, 2013. To provide your comments:


New Vessel Traffic Control Tower Completed

A new $1.1m Vessel Traffic Control Tower was recently completed at Mile Marker 99 of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway adjacent to Jesse Fontenot Memorial Boat Landing in Berwick, La. The purpose of the tower is to provide additional camera vantage points looking westward along the Intracoastal Waterway, southward along the Lower Atchafalaya River and northward toward Berwick Bay. In addition, the tower will be equipped with a TERMA radar and Automatic Identification System (AIS) transceiver to


Unified Command Coordinates Spill Response Near Bayou Perot

The Unified Command has reopened the Intracoastal Waterway near Bayou Perot, La., after a portion of ICW was closed due to a damaged oil wellhead that started spilling sweet crude oil into the bayou early Sunday. The ICW was closed early Sunday between mile markers 19 and 21 when oil from the damaged wellhead entered a portion of the ICW. Cleanup crews have contained and removed the oil from the ICW, and the unified command has reopened the waterway to all vessel traffic.


Progressive Barge Lines Building

Located at Westwego on the West Bank of the Mississippi across from New Orleans, Progressive Barge Lines is established in the local bunkering business. Recently they have also been pushing barges along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Initially this was to move fuel for their own account but they have also been doing some contract work. As they moved out from the New Orleans area, service for the engines that they used in their five-boat fleet had become an issue.


Oil Spill Cleanup Continues on Calcasieu Ship Channel

The Coast Guard opened the Intracoastal Waterway at Calcasieu River to all commercial traffic. The ICW remains closed to recreational traffic from the Calcasieu Lock to mile marker 242. A temporary Vessel Traffic Service, staffed by Coast Guard personnel and industry stakeholders, is coordinating commercial vessel traffic transiting the ICW. Approximately 20 miles of the Calcasieu Ship Channel remain closed due to the spread of oil from a spill at the CITGO Lake Charles Manufacturing


Preparations for Tropical Storm

The US Coast Guard is advising mariners in the eastern Gulf of Mexico to make all necessary preparations for tropical storm Alberto. Sector Mobile issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin setting Port Condition ZULU and closing the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from Panama City to the eastern boundary of the sector. Sector St. Petersburg issued a Press Release stating that it has set Hurricane Condition 4 – Whiskey – and recommending that commercial vessels greater than 500 gross tons depart


USACE Proposes Towboat Acquisition

The Marine Design Center (MDC) of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) plans to obtain an inland river style towboat for the purpose of serving the USACE St. Louis District (CELMS) in its next mission. With measurements of 51 x 19 ft., and a design draft of 5.3 ft. the towboat will have an approximate total of 880 hp. The vessel will be used to provide towing and tender service to other district plants and will be suitable for year-round operation in both shallow


Oil & Chemical Cargo Barges Collide in Intercoastal Waterway

Photos of damage to the barge CBC 7026 and barge TTI-150 after they collided near mile marker 341 in the Intracoastal Waterway, Dec. 23, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard has responded to a collision between two barges in the vicinity of Siever’s Cove on Bolivar Peninsula, in the Intracoastal Waterway. The captain of the tug pushing the barge TTI-150 contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Texas City to report this barge's collision with barge CBC 7026. A 25-foot Response Boat from Station Galveston was sent with a team of incident responders, marine inspectors, and marine casualty investigators


USCG: New Officer-in-charge in Emerald Isle, N.C.

The crew of Coast Guard Station Emerald Isle is scheduled to hold a change-of-command ceremony Friday at the station in Emerald Isle, N.C. During the ceremony, Chief Petty Officer Matthew Wolanzyk will relieve Chief Warrant Officer Robert Lepere, who served as the officer-in-charge of Station Emerald Isle since 2010. Station Emerald Isle's missions include search and rescue, recreational boating safety, law enforcement and marine environmental protection


BOEMRE Awards $1.3M in Grants for Louisiana

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has awarded four Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) grants totaling $1,309,365.91 to Louisiana coastal communities for projects that prevent coastal erosion, develop conservation education opportunities and improve coastal transportation infrastructure.   Created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, CIAP provides funding to the six Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas producing states to conserve and


MTU Powers Fleet of Inland Waterway Towboats

Installing new MTU engines has improved Southern Towing’s fuel consumption and maneuverability.

Industry-leading Ironmen diesel engines power four new builds and two repowers in Southern Towing’s inland waterway fleet MTU, the specialist for propulsion and power systems for ships and commercial marine equipment, has been selected by Memphis-based Southern Towing Company to power six


Kirby Awards ATB Contracts to Bay Shipbuilding

Photo courtesy of Bay Shipbuilding

Bay Shipbuilding Company (BSC) of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, a subsidiary of Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG), has been awarded a contract to build two 155,000-barrel capacity barges and two 6,000 HP tugs for Kirby Corporation. The vessels are to be operated as Articulated Tug-Barge (ATB) units and


New Orleans Locks Closed for Emergency Repair

Harvey Lock, located at mile zero on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, was closed to navigation yesterday, June 26, for emergency repairs to lock gate machinery, GAC reported in its daily Hot Port News. This closure is expected to last for two-four days


Coalition Asks Senate for Vessel Discharge Legislation

Tom Allegretti, AWO’s President & CEO

On June 20, a diverse coalition of 58 national and regional organizations representing a wide array of leading business, maritime and labor organizations signed on to a letter to Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman John Rockefeller (D-W.Va


Intercoastal Waterway Reopens After Collision

The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port for the Houston/Galveston area informs that a 2-mile stretch of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway between between Bolivar Peninsula and Goat Island has been reopened after a pleasure craft sank in the channel following a collision.


Texas City Y Collision: Formal Casualty Hearing Notified

Aftermath Texas City Y collision: Photo USCG

The US Coast Guard informs that in conjunction with the National Transportation Safety Board, it will begin a formal hearing at the Galveston County Criminal Justice Center Monday, June 2, 2014 at 1 p.m. concerning the collision between the bulk carrier 'Summer Wind'


Blessey Marine Growth Continues With Cummins-powered Pushboats

 Erin C Grenon

  Over the past decade Blessey Marine has coasted on a growth curve taking delivery of a large number of Cummins-powered pushboats for their inland fleet. The vessels are sized to share a common versatility with the draft and horsepower to work both the shallower waters of the Intracoastal


Kirby Announce Record Earnings in Q1 2014

Image courtesy of Kirby Corp.

US tank barge operator and diesel engine service providers, Kirby Corporation, inform that earnings for the first quarter ending March 31, 2014 amounted to $62.2 million, or $1.09 per share, compared with $56.6 million, or $1.00 per share, for the 2013 first quarter


NOAA Begins Hydrographic Survey Season

Photo courtesy of NOAA

New data will update nautical charts around the country. As sure as spring arrives, NOAA vessels and independent contractors are hitting the seas for the nation's 180th hydrographic surveying season, collecting data for over two thousand square nautical miles in high-traffic U.S. coastal waters


USCG Responds to Vessel Fire

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reported it is responding to a report of a vessel that caught fire and became disabled with two men and a dog aboard south of the McCormick Bridge in the Intracoastal Waterway in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., Thursday.


USCG Lifts Matagorda Safety Zone, Response Ongoing

Boom is put in place to prevent oil from the Texas City collision from affecting environmentally-sensitive areas in Matagorda Bay, March 28, 2014. Approximately 150 response personnel have placed more than 16,000 feet of boom. (Unified response photo)

Oil spill responders from the Matagorda Incident Command Post in Port O’Connor, Texas, continue to implement their aggressive plans, Friday, intended to protect environmentally sensitive areas of the Matagorda Bay area against any impact from a portion of the oil spilled in Saturday’s


Cleanup Efforts Ramp up in Texas City

The U.S. Coast Guard is ramping up efforts to clean oil in the Ports of Texas City and Galveston Wednesday, as expected afternoon weather will likely hinder or cease operations due to safety concerns for responders. Storms may keep responders from being able to safely collect oil on the water


Texas City "Y" incident: Latest Update

Entrance to Texas City Dike: Photo in public domain

The Coast Guard informs that it continues clean up operations in the Port of Houston/Galveston after having authorized limited marine traffic in the safety zone for commercial ship traffic, Tuesday. The Port Coordination Team is prioritizing ships for transit through the channel


Limited Traffic Authorized at Port of Houston

USCG photo

Update: Texas City "Y" incident response; Port of Houston authorized limited marine movement The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has authorized limited marine traffic in the safety zone in the Port of Houston/Galveston for commercial ship traffic, Tuesday.


Collision, Spill Forces Houston Channel Closure

A barge loaded with marine fuel oil sits partially submerged in the Houston Ship Channel, March 22, 2014. The bulk carrier Summer Wind, reported a collision between the Summer Wind and a barge, containing 924,000 gallons of fuel oil, towed by the motor vessel Miss Susan. (USCG photo)

Cleanup continues in response to an oil spill in the Houston Ship Channel that resulted in the release of approximately 168,000 gallons of bunker fuel oil. On March 22, 2014, the M/V Summer Wind and Kirby Barge 27706 collided in the Houston Ship Channel in the vicinity LT 26 near the






 
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