The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced
the Port of
New Haven, Conn., is the 12th major United States shipping harbor to
install a new Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System. PORTS(r), which are
developed and operated by NOAA, are designed to support safe,
cost-efficient marine transportation by providing accurate real-time
oceanographic and meteorological data. NOAA is an agency of the U.S.
Department of Commerce.
New Haven handles vessels carrying nearly 11 million tons of cargo
annually. To enable movement of the greatest amount of cargo without the
vessel running aground, the vessel managers must know the precise depth of
the water. Yet, in port areas, water levels and currents frequently differ
from predictions as a result of changes in winds and water run
off. PORTS(r) provides the very accurate real time information needed to
make marine transportation both safe and efficient.
"The NOAA PORTS(r) Program is of tremendous importance to the marine
commerce industry of the United States and is a very successful product
resulting from NOAA science," says Richard Spinrad
, Ph.D., assistant
administrator of NOAA's National Ocean Service
. "More than 95 percent of
United States overseas
trade by volume, and 37 percent by value, comes and
goes by ship, including nine million barrels of imported oil daily
Administered by NOAA National Ocean Service's Center for Operational
Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS), PORTS(r) is a cooperative
effort with the Block Island Pilots Association
. Funding for the
equipment, installation and operations of the PORTS(r) system is provided
by the Block Island Pilots Association, while NOAA provides the management,
quality control and data dissemination.
The New Haven PORTS(r) will provide real time information on water levels
and meteorological conditions; will be updated every six minutes and
thoroughly quality controlled to ensure accuracy. While designed to be of
service to the marine transportation community
, this data is freely
accessible by Internet or phone. Users of NOAA PORTS(r) information
include port authorities, vessel pilots, shipping companies, U.S. Coast
Guard, U.S. Navy, recreational boaters, fishermen, coastal managers,
environmental organizations, academia and surfers.
New Haven joins 11 PORTS(r) systems supporting seaports around the nation
using the highly successful NOAA program. Other areas using the system
are: Anchorage, Alaska; Chesapeake Bay; Galveston and Houston, Texas; Los
Angeles-Long-Beach, Calif.; Narragansett Bay, R.I.; New York-New Jersey
Harbor; San Francisco Bay, Calif.; The Soo Locks, Mich., Tampa Bay, Fla.,
and Tacoma, Wash.
NOAA's National Ocean Service, which includes the Center for Operational
Oceanographic Products and Services, is dedicated to exploring,
understanding, conserving and restoring the nation's coasts and oceans. It
balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling
its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities,
sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.
NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety
through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events
and providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine