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multibeam and side scan sonar systems, are acquiring data to address possible charting discrepancies - data that is outdated or wrong - and other concerns.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 October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

HMAS Success Deploys to Middle East

After months of preparation, HMAS Success departed Garden Island in Sydney today for a six-month deployment to the Middle East Region to provide logistic support

Rosneft Ships First Oil From Chayvo Field

Rosneft commenced shipment of crude oil extracted at the Northern Tip of Chayvo license off the coast of Sakhalin, with the first tanker carrying Sokol-grade crude leaving port on November 21.

Houston Port Commission Approves budget

The Fiscal Year 2015 Operating and Capital Budget was approved Thursday during a special meeting of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority.   Projections

Environmental

Steven Palazzo Visits HII, Newport

Huntington Ingalls Industries today hosted Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division. Palazzo represents the fourth district of Mississippi,

Environmental Groups: IMO Polar Code Too Weak

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) today adopted the Polar Code aimed at regulating shipping in Polar Regions. Several environmental groups have criticized

Bouchard Vessels Honored by SCA

Forty-three Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. vessels have been honored by The Chamber of Shipping America (CSA) with Certificates of Environmental Achievement.

News

USCG Assist Duck Hunters Near Harrington Beach Park

The Coast Guard and the Port Washington and Cedar Grove Fire Departments came to the assistance of two duck hunters on Lake Michigan Friday. The names of those involved are not being released.

Sapurakencana Wins 3 Petronas Oil blocks

SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad today announced that it has entered into Sale and Purchase Agreements to acquire the entire interest of PETRONAS in 3 blocks offshore

Kemp Succeeds Semple at Wood Group

Wood Group announced following changes to its senior management team. Alan Semple, chief financial officer (CFO) has advised the board that he intends to

Coast Guard

USCG Assist Duck Hunters Near Harrington Beach Park

The Coast Guard and the Port Washington and Cedar Grove Fire Departments came to the assistance of two duck hunters on Lake Michigan Friday. The names of those involved are not being released.

7 Rescued from Sinking Freighter Near Haiti

Seven crewmembers were rescued after their 100-foot coastal freighter began taking on water and sank approximately 45 miles north off of Cap Haitien, Haiti, Friday.

Update: Explosion in the Gulf of Mexico

An explosion occurred aboard a production platform Thursday at West Delta 105, operated by Fieldwood Energy, resulting in one fatality and three injured. The Bureau

Surveyors

EMGS to Map Brazil's Gas Hydrates

Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA (EMGS) has received a contract worth USD 1.5 million for a research project in Brazil. The project will use 3D EM data to map

Rosneft Completes Geological Survey

Rosneft reports on 100% completion of the geological survey program on Company's offshore license areas for 2014. In the current year geological survey covered

Study: Offshore Ambient Vibration Monitoring

SUNY Maritime research team studies ambient vibration monitoring of offshore equipment Two State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College professors have received a $65,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
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: 0.2436 sec (4 req/sec)