NOAA Begins Hydrographic Survey Season

Posted by Michelle Howard
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
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.

"Nautical charts are the foundation for the nation's maritime economy, and NOAA hydrographers spend months at sea, surveying critical areas to ensure safe navigation for the shipping, fishing, and boating communities," said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of the Office of Coast Survey. 

"Spring is the traditional beginning of the survey season," Glang explained. "After a winter of data processing and ship maintenance, the NOAA survey ships now join Coast Survey navigation teams who work year round."

U.S. waters cover 3.4 million square nautical miles, including a seafloor that is constantly changing due to storms, erosion, and development. To keep the nation's suite of over a thousand nautical charts up to date, the Office of Coast Survey annually plans hydrographic survey projects to measure water depths and identify new navigational hazards. Survey planners consider requests by marine pilots, port authorities, the Coast Guard, researchers and others when setting the year's schedule.

Alaska's Kodiak Island is one priority this year, and NOAA ships Rainier and Fairweather will update old and sparse depth measurements in response to increased demand from the tourism and commercial fishing industries. Rainier will also work in Cold Bay, charting potential areas of refuge for ships approaching the harbor when currents are strong. Additionally, one of NOAA's hydrographic services contractors will survey Bechevin Bay, the easternmost passage through the Aleutians from the Bering Sea to the Gulf of Alaska.

Before heading to Alaska, the Fairweather will survey south of Washington's San Juan Islands and investigate reported shoaling in Friday Harbor.

Coast Survey's navigation response teams (NRTs), small 2- or 3-person boats equipped with both multibeam and side scan sonar systems, are acquiring data to address possible charting discrepancies - data that is outdated or wrong - and other concerns. NRT6 is working in San Francisco Bay and will later survey two anchorages near Benicia, Calif., to chart a shoal that has migrated toward the federal channel.

Hydrographic surveys are always in high demand in the Gulf of Mexico. This year, NRT4 is responding to requests by pilots and port authorities to survey Galveston Bay and its vicinity. A NOAA contractor will survey in Louisiana, offshore of Barataria Bay, to acquire the data necessary to establish turnoffs and turning basins for large vessels. A contractor will also survey the approaches to Lake Borgne/Lake Ponchartrain in Louisiana, where some chart data is from the 1800s.

Surveys are planned for approach lanes to ports in Mobile Bay, Ala., and Panama City, Fla. Additionally, NRT1 is investigating shoaling and a changing channel course in Grand Lagoon, and measuring depths and features in West Bay and West Bay Creek, along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway around Panama City. After they finish up in Florida, NRT1 will continue the rest of the 2014 survey season in Louisiana.

As we come up the East Coast, NRT2 will investigate hazards to navigation in the waters of a proposed anchorage area near Jacksonville, Fla., in response to a request from the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Survey Research Vessel Bay Hydro II will survey critical areas in central Chesapeake Bay. The NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler will survey a possible wind turbine site in the approaches to the Bay. Before the Hassler does that, however, it will survey off the coast of Portsmouth, N.H. to acquire data that will contribute to habitat mapping and to the state's effort to locate sand resources for beach replenishment.

NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson and NRT5 will survey in Long Island Sound, in support of the multi-year, multi-state, multi-agency Seafloor Mapping Initiative. The Thomas Jefferson will also perform Post Tropical Cyclone Sandy recovery work.

Finally, the Thomas Jefferson and Hassler will survey an area offshore of Rhode Island Sound to identify a safe route for deep draft oil tankers. The area is also a potential site for wind turbines.

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

Homecoming Scotland 2014 Fireball Championships

Lerwick Harbour is ready for an exciting week of sailing with the 2014 Fireball European Championships taking place at the port next week. As a warm-up to the main event,

Iraqi Kurdish Oil Nears US Port Despite Concern in Washington

A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan is just two days away from arriving at a U.S. port, according to ship tracking satellites, despite Washington's

Phillips 66 Marine Fueling Facility Nears Completion

Phillips 66’s previously announced marine over-the-water fueling facility at its Richmond, Calif. terminal is nearing completion. The facility, located on Canal Boulevard, and known as Pier No.

Navigation

House Subcommittee Hearing Highlights “Dismal State” of U.S. Icebreaking Capability

At the July 23, 2014, hearing of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic” the committee chairman, Rep.

More VDR Orders for Danelec in China

Danelec Marine has received orders to supply Voyage Data Recorders (VDRs) and Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) for 18 offshore support vessels in China.

Panama Canal to Celebrate 100 Years

To commemorate its centennial, the Panama Canal will host a series of events August 14-15 in Panama City to highlight the impact of the waterway during the past century.

Environmental

Nation’s Vessel Operators Join EPA as SmartWay Affiliate

The American Waterways Operators, a 350-member trade association representing the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry, announced today that it joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership,

ABS, MPA to Collaborate on Maritime R&D

ABS and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today to promote maritime research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Concordia Tow Update: Smooth Sailing

The Costa Concordia wreck removal team reported this morning at 10:30 a.m. that after 22 hours of navigation, the convoy was over 50 miles off Giglio Island with about 140 miles from Genoa Prà-Voltri.

News

USCG Leadership Development Center Change of Command

The Coast Guard’s Leadership Develop Center will have its first change of command ceremony Thursday, July 31 at 11 a.m. in front of Yeaton Hall at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

6 MW Offshore Wind Turbine of Siemens Certified

Siemens Energy has obtained type certification of DNV GL for the company's innovative D6 offshore wind turbine. The model Siemens SWT-6.0-154 is equipped with a modern direct drive generator,

Turkey Approves EIA Report for South Stream’s Offshore Section

The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning of Turkey approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report and issued a positive opinion of the EIA results

Coast Guard

USCG Leadership Development Center Change of Command

The Coast Guard’s Leadership Develop Center will have its first change of command ceremony Thursday, July 31 at 11 a.m. in front of Yeaton Hall at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

House Subcommittee Hearing Highlights “Dismal State” of U.S. Icebreaking Capability

At the July 23, 2014, hearing of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic” the committee chairman, Rep.

Bollinger to Build 6 More FRCs for the USCG

Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., Lockport, Louisiana, announced the award of six additional USCG Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). The U. S. Coast Guard

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2616 sec (4 req/sec)