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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Mississippi News

Op/Ed: Making the Mississippi River Mightier

© Vladimir Melnikov / Adobe Stock

A plan unfolds and support grows for a 50-foot Ship Channel to support economical and efficient grain exports. The Big River Coalition remains at the heart of that collaborative effort to make the Mississippi River Mightier. In 2012, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Institute of Water Resources (IWR) released a report under the direction of Congress to document the status of U.S. Ports to accept post-panamax vessels. The report, entitled, “U.S. Port and Inland Waterways Modernization: Preparing for Post-Panamax Vessels” was officially released on June 20, 2012.

Sembmarine Inks LoI with Shell for FPU

Floaters. Photo: Sembcorp Marine Ltd.

Sembcorp Marine announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Sembcorp Marine Rigs & Floaters has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Shell Offshore for the construction of the hull and topside as well as the integration of the Vito floating production unit (FPU). If the project moves forward, the Vito FPU will be a new facility located in the Mississippi Canyon, approximately 150 miles south of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, in water depth of 4,050 ft. Comprising a single topside module supported by a 4-column semisubmersible floating hull…

American Cruise Lines’ Paddlewheeler Completes Sea Trial

American Cruise Lines announced that, on March 18, the Queen of the Mississippi left the pier at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland, for its first sea trial. The vessel performed perfectly, as the huge paddlewheel churned the water and onlookers lined the riverbanks to watch. “The Queen of the Mississippi sets a new standard in river cruising and raises the bar for grand travel on the Mississippi River,” said Charles A. Robertson, President of American Cruise Lines. Robertson also revealed that the new riverboat is slightly faster than expected and is now nine weeks ahead of schedule. The Queen of the Mississippi will be completed in May with its inaugural cruise scheduled for August 11, 2012, from New Orleans to Memphis.

Durbin: Demolition of Rock Pinnacles Could Begin Next Week

File: Inland pushboat and barges.

At the request of Midwest Senators, Army Corps fast tracked process to keep water and goods moving on the Mississippi River. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)  praised the news that a contract has been awarded for the demolition of rock pinnacles in the Mississippi River and the work could begin as early as next week. In a November 29 meeting with Durbin and five other Midwest Senators, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, agreed to expedite the demolition process in order to help navigation on the Mississippi River.

Coast Guard Advises Western River Closures, Restrictions

File image: a Mississippi River fleeting operation. (WCI)

The United States Coast Guard has issued a number of river closures, restrictions and advisories in response to floods in the Midwest. To keep the public and professional mariners apprised of changes to river traffic, the 8th District will continue to issue press releases capturing all closures and restrictions throughout this period of high water and flooding. Upper Mississippi River closed between mile markers 184 and 179 near St. Louis, Missouri. Illinois River closed between mile markers 0 to 50 from Hardin, Illinois to Grafton, Illinois.

New Virginia Class Sub Arrives in Pascagoula for Commissioning

'Mississippi' Arrives Pascagoula: Photo credit USN

Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Mississippi (SSN 782) Mississippi, like all other Virginia-class submarines, is designed to dominate both the littorals and deep oceans. It will serve as a valuable asset in supporting the core capabilities of Maritime Strategy: Sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence. "As we approached the Port of Pascagoula during the early morning hours and watched the sun rise over the Gulf of Mexico, I was humbled in knowing…

USCG Searching for 2 Trapped Under Sunken Barge

The Coast Guard, along with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Mississippi County, Ark. Sheriff's Department, are searching for two people in the water near a sunken barge in Hickman Landing Wednesday. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River received a report at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday that two people became trapped beneath a barge that flipped and sank in the Mississippi River. Sector Lower Mississippi River directed the launch of a 25-foot Response Boat — Small boatcrew to search for the two men along with joint agency boatcrews. The Mississippi River is closed from mile marker 815 to mile marker 825 to aid in the search efforts. “This reminds us of the dangers mariners face while working on the river,” said Capt.

ACL Purchases Historic Steam Calliope

Queen of the Mississippi

Original calliope from 1880-built paddlewheel steamboat to be placed aboard Queen of the Mississippi. American Cruise Lines, operator of the newest riverboats and small cruise ships in the United States, is pleased to announce it has just acquired a 132-year-old Nichol steam calliope to be placed aboard  its brand new 150-guest paddlewheeler, Queen of the Mississippi. The historic instrument, which originated from the Washington, a paddlewheel steamboat which operated on the Mississippi and Ohio River from 1880 to 1938…

US Western Rivers Closures, Restrictions

Image USCG

The Coast Guard has issued a number of river closures, restrictions and advisories in response to floods in the Midwest. To keep the public and professional mariners apprised of changes to river traffic, the 8th District will continue to issue press releases capturing all closures and restrictions throughout this period of high water and flooding. * Upper Mississippi River closed between mile markers 184 and 179 near St. Louis, Missouri. * Illinois River closed between mile markers 0 to 50 from Hardin, Illinois to Grafton, Illinois.

'Queen of Mississippi' Heads for New Orleans

'Queen of the Mississippi' Photo credit American Cruise Lines

Newly built and completed, American Cruise Lines' Queen of the Mississippi docked at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD, before leaving for New Orleans. American Cruise Lines announce that its brand new authentic paddlewheeler, Queen of the Mississippi, has received its Coast Guard certificates and six weeks ahead of schedule has left Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland and is en route to New Orleans, from where her first cruises beginning in early August will depart. The Queen of the Mississippi carries 150 guests in spacious staterooms.

Ingalls Shipbuilding Donates to Special Olympics of Mississippi

Check presentation: Photo courtesy of HII

Huntington Ingalls Industries say they recently donated $25,000 to Special Olympics of Mississippi. The check was presented at an event in Jackson and will help with travel expenses for Mississippi athletes and families to attend the Special Olympics USA Games, which will take place in June in New Jersey. "Ingalls Shipbuilding fully supports the Special Olympics, and this donation will go a long way in providing these Mississippi athletes and their family members what they need to be able to compete in the national games," said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Irwin F. Edenzon.

USS Mississippi Commissioned in Namesake State

Sailors assigned to the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Mississippi (SSN 782) man the ship during the commissioning ceremony for the Navy's ninth Virginia-class attack submarine. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Lawlor/Released)

The Navy's newest addition to the submarine force was commissioned June 2, in its namesake state. USS Mississippi (SSN 782), the ninth Virginia-class attack submarine, joined the fleet following a commissioning ceremony held at the Port of Pascagoula. More than 7,500 people braved the typical tropical Mississippi weather to witness the ceremony in Pascagoula, while others viewed it live on the Internet. Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, a native Mississippian and former governor of the state was the ceremony's keynote speaker. He enthusiastically welcomed Mississippi to the fleet.

New Mississippi River Promotion Alliance Formed

Officials with the World Trade Center Mississippi River Alliance (WTC MSRA) and the Big River Coalition (BRC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining a cooperative effort to preserve and promote economic growth on the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MRT). The organizations will work together in support of increasing the draft in the Lower Mississippi River deep-draft channel to 50 feet to equal the maximum draft to be available when the new Panama Canal locks open in 2015. Along with this agreement, both parties will be given access to broadcast their organizational information and updates to each other and its members. “The timing for such a partnership with the Big River Coalition is ideal.

MMS $450k Grant for Miss. Heritage

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) has approved a grant for $450,000 to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP), to fund phases one and two of a project to document and conserve the heritage resources of the Mississippi gulf coast. Grant funding for the first two phases will identify resources and collect data of known and potential heritage resource locations in the coastal counties of Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson. The project is expected to conserve the natural, scenic, historical, archaeological, and cultural environments of the Mississippi gulf coast. The CIAP was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Low Mississippi Water Levels Threaten US Economy

The American Waterways Operators (AWO) & Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) warn barge transportation could stop in December. AWO and WCI call  upon Congress and the Administration to address a developing situation on the Mississippi River which could effectively bring commerce on the Mighty Mississippi to a halt in early December. Water releases from dams on the upper Missouri River are planned to be significantly scaled back later this month and these reductions are expected to negatively impact the Mississippi River water level between St. Louis and Cairo, IL beginning December 1. Of particular concern are hazardous rock formations near Thebes and Grand Tower, IL, which threaten navigation when water levels drop to anticipated, near historic lows.

HII Annual ‘5K on the Causeway’ Raises $12,000

5K on the Causeway 2014: Photo HII

Huntington Ingalls Industries' informs that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division raised $12,000 for Special Olympics of Mississippi at the company's third annual "5K on the Causeway" on Saturday. "It was a great turnout with more than 700 participants this year," said Edmond Hughes, Ingalls' vice president of human resources and administration. "We have a faithful contingent that continues to return every year, and that demonstrates our employees' dedication to a healthier lifestyle.

Barge Traffic Tied In Knots On Mississippi

U.S. Midwestern grain shippers were getting ready to move barges into the upper Mississippi River on Tuesday but estimated it could be two to three weeks before trapped barges along the river make it to the Gulf. Weekend rains that dropped 3 to 6 inches of rain over a six-county area in northern Missouri and southern Iowa, coupled with swollen river conditions in the upper Mississippi, resulted in two more Mississippi lock closures this week. Lock 24 at Clarksville, Missouri, and lock 25 at Winfield, Missouri, were shut down to traffic on Monday. Both locks are north of the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. These new closures, along with the U.S.

Cooperative Effort Promotes Mississippi River Economics

Officials with the World Trade Center Mississippi River Alliance (WTC MSRA) and the Big River Coalition (BRC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining a cooperative effort to preserve and promote economic growth on the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MRT). The organizations will work together in support of increasing the draft in the Lower Mississippi River deep-draft channel to 50 feet to equal the maximum draft to be available when the new Panama Canal locks open in 2015. Along with this agreement, both parties will be given access to broadcast their organizational information and updates to each other and its members. “The timing for such a partnership with the Big River Coalition is ideal.

Mississippi River Commission Schedules Meeting For Friday

Dock, at mile 53 on the Houma Navigation Canal. communities along the Mississippi River. August 11 in St. Paul, Minn. directly address their views to members of the Commission. through Old River Lock to reach the Atchafalaya River. Waterway.

Delta Queen Steamboat Company Makes Schedule Changes

The Delta Queen Steamboat Company, which will deliver two new steamboats to the Mississippi River system this spring, announced today that its American Queen schedule will be postponed until 2007, due to conditions in New Orleans and along the lower Mississippi River system, the steamboat's home base. Over the last few months, the American Queen has been in private charter. Passengers will be given the opportunity to travel on one of the other steamboats in the company's fleet including the historic Delta Queen or the Mississippi Queen.

Senate O.K.s U.S. Waterways Improvement Bill

The U.S. Senate passed legislation to improve transportation on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers for Midwestern farmers shipping bulk commodities. The legislation provided $2 million for the initial phase of the Upper Mississippi and Illinois waterway system navigation modernization project. The project will redesign and expand seven locks -- five on the Mississippi and two on the Illinois -- that currently delay shipments on the river because the locks are too small to handle modern-sized barge tows. Modernizing locks is considered important because barge transportation is one of the cheapest ways to move bulk commodities.

Ingalls’ Gets $20m for 'Shipyard of the Future' Project

Gov. Phil Bryant (third from left) participates in the ceremonial signing of the “Shipyard of the Future” bill at Ingalls Shipbuilding, along with (left to right) Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias and Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn. (Photo: Andrew Young/HII)

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant visited Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division May 28 to participate in a ceremonial signing of a $20 million bond bill supporting Ingalls' "Shipyard of the Future" project. The investment will go toward current building improvements, new covered facilities providing better work areas for shipbuilders, and enabling more work to be accomplished out of the weather. The infrastructure improvements also include a new dry dock that will allow Ingalls to translate and launch ships from various locations in the shipyard.

Mississippi River Drought Mayors to Meet

20 Mayors to discuss severe weather implications for Mississippi River sustainability & need for regional co-operation. Spurred by the severe drought and Hurricane Isaac, Mayors from towns and cities along the Mississippi River will participate in a press briefing to discuss a mayoral-led effort to bring national attention back to the Mississippi River—America’s most critical natural asset—and spearhead a new level of regional cooperation to make it more sustainable. The drought—the worst in 50 years—has severely impacted the towns, cities and people who live and make a living along the River, the ecological linchpin to the 37-state Mississippi River Basin. Now, Hurricane Isaac has further threatened many river towns.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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