East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale
3/17/2011


Attention Snowbirds

FL-SEACOAST: US Navy Exercises.
THE FOLLOWING AREAS WILL CONTAIN EXERCISES HAZARDOUS TO SURFACE VESSELS FROM 0000-2359 DAILY BETWEEN 14-20 MAR 11 IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS:
GUNEX AREA AREA BOUNDED BY
“BB/CC” 30-45N 080-32W
30-45N 079-40W
30-37.5N 079-40W
30-34N 080-33W
“31J” 29-20N 079-50W
29-20N 079-40W
29-10N 079-40W
29-10N 079-50W
“27C” 30-00N 081-00W
30-00N 080-50W
29-50N 080-50W
29-50N 081-00W
THERE ARE SEVEN UNRECOVERED INERT MINES IN THE FOLLOWING AREA:
"26C/26D" 30-10N 081-00W
30-10N 080-40W
30-00N 081-00W
30-00N 080-40W
ALL MARINERS ARE ADVISED TO STAY CLEAR OF THE ABOVE AREAS. (7th District LNM 11)*

*Italicized text above and below indicates our comment or paraphrase. Plain text is copied from the Notices to Mariners or other sources given.

Drought Continues to Lower the Okeechobee Waterway:
On March 16, 2011 the lake level was reported at 11.82 feet, down from 12.08 feet two weeks ago. The Navigation Depth of Route 1 is 5.76 feet. Just a year ago the lake level was 14.07 feet. You can check the daily lake level at http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/reports/r-oke.html.
A Notice to Navigation Interests from the USACE Jacksonville District dated December 13, 2010, states that when the lake level drops to between 12.5 and 11.5 feet, the WP Franklin and the St. Lucie Locks go on a restricted schedule of lockage, every two hours: 0700, 0900, 1100, 1300, 1500, 1700 and 1900. The current lake level falls within this range.

Special Notices

Card Sound DGPS Downtime:
UNUSABLE TIME IS AUTHORIZED FOR THE FOLLOWING DATE/TIME:
PRIMARY: 23 MAR 2011 1300Z - 1700Z (0900 - 1300 EDT)
ALTERNATE: 24 MAR 2011 1300Z - 1700Z (0900 - 1300 EDT) (7th District LNM 10)

Seventh District
Coastal Waters from Little River, South Carolina to Panama City, Florida

Charleston Area Dredging:
Weeks Marine, Inc. will commence dredging operations on or about February 21, 2011 until Approximately August 19, 2011 at various locations around Drum Island in Lower Charleston Harbor and Wando River, South Carolina. The dredge operations will be conducted 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The dredge Weeks 506 and attending tugs will monitor VHF CH 16. All mariners are advised to transit the area with caution. (7th District LNM 08)
Southern Dredging Co Inc has commenced dredging operations with the dredge CHEROKEE in Ordnance Reach near the Naval Weapons Station Goose Creek, SC. Dredging will continue on a 24 hours per day, 7 days per week basis until April 30, 2011. The dredge CHEROKEE can be contacted on marine VHF radio channels 13 and 16 for on-scene communications. (7th District LNM 09)

Canaveral Lock Closure Reminder:
A Notice to Navigation Interests from the USACE in Jacksonville dated February 2, 2011 states that the Canaveral Lock will continue to be closed for dewatering and the installation of a new Manatee Protection System until completion on April 8, 2011. On April 9, 2011 the lock will reopen for all vessels. There will be no three week period of opening of the lock as previously stated.
Check www.saj.usace.army.mil, choose OPERATIONS DIVISION tab and select the NOTICE TO NAVIGATION from the pull down menu, or call USACE: 904 232 2103 (Aaron Kelly).

Jupiter Inlet Artificial Reef Construction:
Murphy Construction Co. will commence the construction of an artificial reef on March 14, 2011 located on the south side of Jupiter Inlet at Dubois Park, between US Highway 1 and Atlantic Oceana, north of Indiantown Rd in Palm Beach County. Tug PAT and crane barge will be monitoring VHF CH 13, 14, and 66. All mariners are advised to transit the area with caution. (7th District LNM 10)

South Florida Wind Generating Spar:
FAU will deploy a temporary SPAR buoy in position 26-7.215N 080-5.365W on or about March 22 until March 31, 2011. The SPAR buoy will draft 22 FT and is fitted with a wind generator that will be visible 10 FT above the waterline. The structure will be painted yellow and fitted with an amber 2 sec flashing light. All mariners are advised to transit the area with caution. (7th District LNM 11)

Shoaling at Gordon Pass:
Shoaling has been reported in the vicinity of Gordon Pass Channel DBN 1 (LLNR 17453) and Gordon Pass Channel LT 2 (LLNR 17455) in approximate position 26-05.492N 081-48.388W. All mariners are advised to transit the area with caution. (7th District LNM 10)

Hazards to Navigation:
Florida Keys, Marathon: The Coast Guard has received a report of a white door (that’s right, a white door) exposed 2 FT above the waterline in approximate position 24-43.874N 081-03.403W at the opening of the channel between Dolphin Rd and Yellowtail Rd. All mariners are advised to transit the area with caution. (7th District LNM 11)
Florida West Coast: The Coast Guard has received a report of a blockage due to a dredge pipe relocation in Hernando Beach Channel in the vicinity of private aids, Hernando Beach Channel Daybeacon 87 (LLNR 27855.5) and Hernando Beach Channel Daybeacon 88 (LLNR 27860). All mariners are advised to use extreme caution while transiting this area. (7th District LNM 10)

Florida Bridge Update: From the USCG 7th District LNM 11/2011:
NOTE: Information new with this alert is in bold. There are many on-going projects lasting sometimes for years. You can “Search” a bridge name for previous East Coast Alerts that may contain information that is still current.
CSX RAILROAD BRIDGE: The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has issued a public notice regarding the ‘Availability of Environmental Assessment’ for the proposed replacement of the CSXT Railroad Bridge across the South Fork of the New River, mile 2.8, at Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida. The USCG, as lead federal agency, announces availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed project. The USCG solicits comments as part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. Public Notice (8-11) which solicits comments through April 14, 2011 is attached to this Local Notice to Mariners. Comments may be expressed to Miss Evelyn Smart by telephone at (305) 415-6989 or by e-mail at Evelyn.Smart@uscg.mil. The public notice 08-11 which solicits comments for a thirty day period can be view at http://www.uscg.mil/d7/d7dpb/links.asp or http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=pnBridges&Active=1&region=7. Chart: 11467 CG Bridge File: 3886
MacArthur Causeway Bridge: Bridge Inspection: The vertical clearance of the MacArthur Causeway Bridge across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Miami, Florida may be reduced by five feet during times that the snooper bucket will be hanging over the channel. The inspection is scheduled between April 7 and April 13, 2011 during daylight hours. The personnel conducting the bridge inspection can be contacted on VHF-FM channel 9 for passing information.
Johns Pass Bridge Update: Flatiron Constructors will be replacing two submarine cables at the Johns Pass Bridge from Madeira Beach to Treasure Island between March 16, 2011 and March 19, 2011. This work will require the use of one barge-mounted crane and multiple divers in the waterway. In order to accomplish this work safely the following restrictions will be in place:
1. The Johns Pass Channel will be closed to navigation from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. nightly starting at 9:00 p.m. Wednesday March 16, 2011 through 6:00 a.m. Saturday March 19, 2011. Local Law Enforcement will be on-site to assist in boater safety and monitoring.
2. The Johns Pass Bridge will be on single-leaf operations 24 hours-a-day from 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 16, 2011 through 9:00 p.m. Saturday, March 19, 2011. A double-leaf will be available with a four hour notice to the bridge tender.

USCG Fifth District
Coastal Waters from Shrewsbury River, New Jersey to Little River, South Carolina

NJ Bridges Updates:
Mariners are advised that urgent repairs will be conducted at the S71 Bridge, at mile 0.8, over Shark River (South Channel) in Avon NJ beginning Monday, March 14, 2011 through Friday, April 1, 2011. Each night, from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m., Mondays through Fridays, the drawbridge will be maintained in the closed position to vessels requiring an opening to facilitate the installation and wiring of span locks on the bascule span,. In case of an emergency, on-site workers will be equipped with a marine radio on channel 13 VHF and will be able to raise the bridge within one hour notice. At all other times through May 1, 2011, the drawbridge will be maintained in the full open position to vessels to complete the ongoing electrical and mechanical rehabilitation. Mariners should adjust their transits accordingly. (5th District LNM 11).
Mariners are advised that electrical and mechanical rehabilitation have been extended at the Route 88/Veterans Memorial Bridge, at NJICW mile 3.0, across Point Pleasant Canal, in Point Pleasant NJ. Due to inclement weather that delayed work activity during the electrical and mechanical rehabilitation, the drawbridge will now be closed to vessels requiring an opening through 11:59 p.m. on April 1, 2011. In the event of an emergency, vessel openings will be provided if at least four hours advance notice is given to the contractor at (609) 352-0482. At all other times, the drawbridge will operate in accordance with the operating regulations set out in Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.5. Mariners should adjust their transits accordingly. (Fifth District Bridge Branch)
The Cape May County Bridge Commission owns and operates the County Route 619,Townsend Inlet Drawbridge, mile 0.3, in Avalon, NJ. and plans a temporary deviation from the regulations governing it’s operation. They will deviate from that portion of the regulation 33 CFR 117.757 by temporarily requiring that the bridge need not be opened between 5 a.m. on March 1, 2011 and 5 p.m. on April 30, 2011. Mariners will be able to take a detour through Corsons Inlet eight miles to the north or Hereford Inlet eight miles to the south. Mariners that can may pass beneath the closed span with its 23 feet of vertical clearance. (5th District LNM 07)
The Cape May County Bridge Commission owns and operates the County Route 619, Grassy Sound Channel Drawbridge, mile 1.0, in North Wildwood, NJ. and plans a temporary deviation from the regulations governing it’s operation. They will deviate from that portion of the regulation 33 CFR 117.721 by temporarily requiring that the bridge need not be opened between 5 a.m. on March 1, 2011 and 5 p.m. on April 30, 2011. Mariners will be able to take a detour through the nearby Great Channel Drawbridge. Mariners that can, may pass beneath the closed span with its 15 feet of vertical clearance. (5th District LNM 07)
Mariners are advised that cleaning and painting operations will be performed at the Dorset Avenue Bridge, at ICW mile 71.2, across Inside Thorofare in Ventnor City, New Jersey. Beginning at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, March 8, 2011, until and including 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 27, 2011, the cleaning and painting require immobilizing half of the draw span to single-leaf operation so passage through the bridge will be limited to a 25-foot width for the duration of the project. The opposite connecting span while not under repair will continue to open for vessels with a work boat occupying the channel under the bridge. The work boat can be moved immediately if an opening is required. Furthermore, mariners requiring the full opening of the lift spans will be directed to use the Atlantic Ocean as the alternate route and are advised to exercise caution when transiting the area. (From the 5th District Bridge Branch)

Knapps Narrows Bridge Inspection Equipment in Channel:
Mariners are advised that routine inspections will be performed at the MD-33 Bridge across Knapps Narrows, in Tilghman Island, MD each day, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., beginning March 14 through March 18, 2011. To facilitate the operation, inspection personnel and equipment will be in proximity to the navigable channel. Also, a work boat will assist with the inspection effort; the crew will relocate from the movable span and channel upon request from vessels. Mariners should use extreme caution when transiting the area. (5th District LNM 10)

Historic Ships Tow in Baltimore:
Mariners are advised that two Historic Ships in Baltimore museum vessels, the 312-foot submarine U.S.S. TORSK and the 199-foot sloop-of-war U.S.S. CONSTELLATION, are scheduled to be towed in the Patapsco River on or about Thursday, March 17, 2011. Plans include towing the TORSK and the CONSTELLATION separately on the same day, within Baltimore Harbor, from the Sparrows Point Shipyard facility to the vessels’ Baltimore’s Inner Harbor berths. Interested mariners may contact the primary tug via marine band radio channels 16 and 13 VHF-FM. For any comments or questions, contact Sector Baltimore Waterways Management Division at (410) 576-2674. (5th District LNM 11)

Choptank River Shoaling:
Shoaling has been reported in the Choptank River along the north side of the channel extending 30 to 40 feet channelward with a reported depth of 1.0 feet MLW at the following locations:
A. Choptank River Channel Daybeacon 68 (LLNR 25275) to Choptank River Channel Daybeacon 73 (LLNR 25290).
B. Choptank River Channel Daybeacon 75 (LLNR 25295) to Choptank River Channel Daybeacon 77 (LLNR 25300).
C. Choptank River Channel Daybeacon 78 (LLNR 25305) to Choptank River Channel Daybeacon 79 (LLNR 25310).
Mariners should use extreme caution when transiting the area. (5th District LNM 10)

Chincoteague Inlet Dredging and Shoaling:
The ACOE dredge CURRITUCK will be conducting dredging operations in Chincoteague Inlet entrance channel from 09 March until 29 March, 2011. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Channel 13 and 16. A NO WAKE transit is requested of all vessels passing the dredge and if necessary to clarify a SAFE PASSAGE contact the dredge on the appropriate VHF-FM channels. (5th District LNM 11)
Shoaling to a depth of 5.0 feet MLW has been reported in the vicinity of Chincoteague Channel Lighted Buoy 11 (LLNR 5315). Mariners are requested to transit with caution. (5th District LNM 11)

Underwater Surveys Aquia Creek, Potomac River:
Mariners are advised that underwater archaeological surveys are scheduled to occur in Aquia Creek and Upper Potomac River during March 15-31, 2011, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily. The Aquia Creek Battlefield survey will include remote sensing using sonar and magnetometers and site assessments with scuba divers from a vessel operating in Aquia Creek, at its confluence with the Upper Potomac River. The channel will remain open; however, vessel wake may disrupt the survey work. Survey vessels may be towing equipment and have limited ability to maneuver. Mariners are urged to maintain slow speeds near the mouth of Aquia Creek, be on the lookout for slow-moving vessels crossing the channel, and anchored vessels and divers with associated markers and flags in the vicinity. Interested mariners may contact on scene “State survey vessel” via marine band radio channel 16 VHF-FM, if necessary. For any comments or questions, contact Stafford County Tourism, Ms. M.C. Moncure, at telephone (540) 658-8681. (5th District LNM 11)

Navy Testing off Ft. Monroe, Hampton, VA:
The U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center Combatant Craft Division will be conducting testing in the waters off of Fort Monroe from 14 March until 25 March, 2011. Operations will consist of a small craft towing cable assemblies up to 200 feet long. The unit will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16, and will not obstruct the navigational channel or transiting vessels. (5th District LNM 11)

Submerged Dikes at Craney Island, Hampton Roads:
Submerged dikes have been constructed approximately 450 yards west of Craney Island Reach and extend 1.0 nm north of the charted Spoil Rehandling Basin with depths to 3.0 feet MLW in the vicinity. Mariners should exercise caution when transiting the area. (5th District LNM 11)

US 17 Bridge, Wilmington, NC, Schedule Change and Reduced Clearance:
Mariners are advised that the Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District, has issued a temporary deviation from the regulation governing the operation at the US17/Cape Fear River Memorial Bridge, at mile 26.0, in Wilmington, NC. Under this temporary deviation beginning at 7 a.m. on March 15, 2011 through 11:59 p.m. on July 30, 2011, vessel openings will be provided if at least three hours advance notice is given to the bridge tender at (910) 251-5773 or via marine radio on channel 18 VHF. In addition, to accommodate scaffolding, the available vertical clearances of portions of the drawbridge (up to half of the drawbridge at one time) will be reduced by approximately four feet to 131 feet and 61 feet above mean high water, respectively. At all other times, the drawbridge will operate in accordance with the operating regulations set out in Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 117.5 and 117.823. Mariners should exercise caution when transiting the area. (5th District LNM 10)

New Topsail Inlet, NC, AICW Dredging:
The dredge RICHMOND will be conducting dredging operations in the AIWW in the vicinity of New River-Cape Fear River Light 100 and New River-Cape Fear River Light 98 (LLNR 39945) from 01 March until 26 March, 2011. (5th District LNM 09)

USCG First District
Coastal Waters from Eastport, Maine to Shrewsbury, New Jersey

Ice Breaking in Kennebec River:
Coast Guard ice breaking operations may begin in the Kennebec River from Merrymeeting Bay to Gardiner as soon as Friday, March 11, 2011 if excessive rain increases the chance of ice jams and flooding. The purpose of ice breaking operations will be to reduce the risk of property damage caused by flooding. If no flood relief ice breaking operations are needed as a result of rain, the Coast Guard will commence Kennebec River "Spring Break-Out" ice operations on Monday, March 14, 2011. All persons should remove ice fishing shacks from the river immediately, and proceed with extreme caution in areas where the Coast Guard will break ice. (First District LNM 10)

NY/CT Block Island Sound Cable Repairs:
Subsea power cable repairs will be done from approximately 12 March - 30 April 2011. The work location is approximately centered at LAT: N 41d 00’ 36” and LONG: W 073d 22’ 31” extends about 2000 feet north northwest and about 2000 feet to the south. The hours of operation will be 7 days a weeks, 24 hours a day. On scene will be the cable laying vessel C/S NEXANS SKAGERRAK that will be monitoring VHF-FM channels 13 & 16. Mariners are requested to proceed with extreme caution and remain 2000 feet or more away from the repair vessel while transiting the area. (First District LNM 09)

Naval Research Obstruction Buoy:
The Office of Naval Research has deployed a yellow buoy with a white obstruction light in (PA) 41-13-53.144N / 072-00-53.460W. The research has been extending until 22 April 2011 at which time the buoy will be recovered. (First District LNM 11)

Niantic Railroad Bridge Construction MSIB 08-11:
Attn: Maritime Industry Partners
In April 2010, Amtrak and their contract company, Cianbro / Middlsex VII, began a three year construction project to replace the current Niantic Railroad Bridge that crosses the Niantic Bay in the Town of Niantic, CT. There are currently no channel closures and no planned channel closures until October 2011. While no channel closures are expected, this does not eliminate the hazards that exist due to construction activities in the vicinity of the channel. As boaters approach the channel and railroad bridge, visibility may be reduced due to large machinery in the area. The location of the barge may impact the currents as mariners pass under the bridge. To ensure safe navigation, it is recommended that boaters:
1) Review and follow all Inland Rules of the Road, particularly the rules concerning narrow channels, conduct of vessels in meeting situations, and responsibilities between vessels.
2) Monitor Channel 13 while transiting the area. Use this channel to make a call out before you approach the bridge to determine if any other vessels are nearby and make passing arrangements with fellow mariners.
3) Proceed through the construction area at a safe speed and report any hazardous conditions to the Coast Guard on Channel 16.
Future channel closures will be announced via Broadcast Notice to Mariners and MSIB. Please contact Sector Long Island Sound at 203-468-4596 if you have any questions about the construction. (First District LNM 11)

Repair Barge in Brooklyn:
The Hughes Barge 34 (30’x90’ deckbarge) will be at the River Café Brooklyn, south of the Brooklyn Bridge, while repairs are made to the relieving platform under the restaurant. Work hours are Mon-Fri, 0700-1530, through Apr 8, 2011. (First District LNM 11)

Hackensack River Rt. 7 Bridge Channel Obstructions:
The Route 7 Bridge across the Hackensack River is being replaced. TENTATIVE channel obstruction and closure dates are:
Apr 27, 2011 - channel obstructed
May 11-24, 2011 - channel obstructed
Aug 3-23, 2011 - FULL CHANNEL CLOSURE
Oct 19, 2011 - Feb 06, 2012 - Channel Obstructed
Dec 6, 2011 - Apr 9, 2012 - Channel obstructed
Feb 7-14, 2012 - FULL CHANNEL CLOSURE
Feb 15-28, 2012 - Channel obstructed
Mar 7-13, 2012 - Channel obstructed
Apr 10-17, 2012 - FULL CHANNEL CLOSURE
Apr 18 - May 1, 2012 - Channel obstructed
May 9-15, 2012 - Channel obstructed
Please email jeff.m.yunker@uscg.mil prior to March 14, 2011 any questions or comments you have. Please include: horizontal clearance required for transits and how much advance notice you require to be able to adjust your schedules. Questions/comments may also be faxed to 718-354-4190. (First District LNM 07)

This information is not to be used for navigation. Consult the latest charts and Local Notices to Mariners and use prudent seamanship. Conditions may change.  Any person or entity that uses this information in any way, as a condition of that use, agrees to waive and does waive and also hold authors harmless from any and all claims which may arise from or be related to this use.