East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Centerville Turnpike Bridge Weekend Restrictions:
Mariners are advised that the Centerville Turnpike (SR170) Swing Bridge, at AIWW mile 15.2, across the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal in Chesapeake VA, will be allowed to operate on two separate 4-hour opening weekend schedules to facilitate urgent mechanical and structural repairs.  The first weekend schedule will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2011, until and including 8 p. m. on Sunday, May 15, 2011; and the second weekend schedule will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 4, 2011, until and including 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 5, 2011.  Vessels openings will be provided on signal every four hours at the following times: on Saturdays at 8 a.m., 12 p.m., 4 p.m., 8 p.m. and on Sundays at midnight, 4 a.m., 8 a.m., 12 p.m., 4 p.m., and 8 p.m.
At all other times, the drawbridge will operate in accordance with the operating regulations set out in Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.997(i).  Mariners should adjust their transits accordingly and use extreme caution when transiting the area. (5th District Bridge Branch)*

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

Construction Barges in Rock Pile:
Cape Romain Contractors will be installing a new wastewater treatment plant discharge diffuser into the waterway. Duration will be starting April 21, 2011 and lasting approximately 45 days. Location will be Horry County, SC., approximately 2 miles south of Little River Swing Bridge. There will be two barges in the channel off the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and will not obstruct other marine traffic from passing safely. For additional information please contact Mr. E. Horry Parker (office) 843-884-5167 or (cell) 843-514-1269. All mariners are advised to transit the area with caution. (7th District LNM 17) A boater reported on April 28, 2011, that a barge obstructed about half of the very narrow channel here. Be reminded that the edge of this channel is bordered by jagged rocks that extend out to the channel edges. Some are marked with daybeacons, some are not. They are not visible at high tide.

Florida Lock Update:
A Notice to Navigation Interests from the USACE Jacksonville District dated April 11, 2011, states that as of April 9, 2011, the following locks will be under normal operating schedules: Canaveral Lock, St. Lucie Lock, Port Mayaca Lock, Moore Haven Lock, WP Franklin Lock and Ortona Lock.
Check ahead for drought restrictions on the Okeechobee Waterway locks as the lake level is now 11.07 feet. A Notice to Navigation Interests 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. When it is between 11.5 and 10.5 feet, there will be only three lockages per day, at 0700, 1300 and 1900.The current lake level falls within this range.
Another Notice to Navigation Interests dated April 25, 2011, states that there was an emergency 3-day dredging operation in the Canaveral Barge Canal adjacent to the lock, with an estimated completion date of today, April 28, 2011.

US 70 Bridge, Morehead City, Reduced Vertical Clearance:
Mariners are advised that bridge maintenance work will be conducted in the main navigation channel at the US 70/High Rise (fixed) Bridge, at AIWW mile 203.8, across Newport River in Morehead City, NC, beginning at 6 a.m. on June 30, 2011 through 11:59 p.m. on August 20, 2011.  To facilitate the work, a containment system will reduce the available vertical clearance by four feet, from 65 feet to 61 feet, above mean high water.  Mariners should use extreme caution when transiting the area. (5th District Bridge Branch) Note: The tide board at this bridge frequently reads less than 65 feet, so it is possible that there would be even less clearance than the 61 feet mentioned above. For tall masted vessels, there is a way to get around this obstruction if necessary. Use the route through the Beaufort Entrance Channel at Radio Island, the Beaufort drawbridge at Gallants Channel and then Russell Slough Channel to meet up with the AICW at G “RS”, northbound. Southbound would exit the AICW at G “RS” and follow Russell Slough Channel to Beaufort then exit through the Beaufort Entrance. Be aware that there is frequent shoaling along the Russell Slough Channel, that there has been a report of shoaling recently at the entrance channel to Beaufort and that the Gallants Channel does NOT connect with the AICW, although it still appears to as a dotted line on some paper and electronic charts .

Special Notices

Possible Unreliable GPS Signal, Patuxent River:

Shuttle Launch Hazard Area:
FROM 28-37N 080-43W TO 29-09N 080-06W TO 29-01N 079-57W TO 28-28N 080-33W TO BEGINNING.
FROM 30-02N 079-51W TO 30-53N 079-01W TO 30-09N 078-10W TO 29-26N 079-09W TO BEGINNING.
PRIMARY HAZARD TIMES ARE 291932Z THRU 292103Z APR 11. SECONDARY HAZARD TIMES ARE 301910Z THRU 302041Z APR 11 OR 011844Z THRU 012015Z MAY 11. (7th District LNM 17)

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

Dredge Operations – Clouter Creek Reach, Cooper River, SC:
On Saturday, April 23, 2011 Southern Dredging CO., Inc. will begin dredging operations with the dredge CHEROKEE at Piers S (Sierra), T (Tango) and U (Uniform) near the Clouter Creek Reach of the Cooper River, SC. Dredging will continue on a 24 hours per day, 7 days per week until approximately May 23, 2011. MSIB 22-11 on Homeport at http://homeport.uscg.mil/charleston

Dredging for Beach Renourishment, South Amelia Island:
Marinex Construction will commence dredging operations on or about May 4, 2011. The dredging operations will continue on a 24 hour per day, 7 days per week basis until approximately September 30, 2011. The project will be in the vicinity of Nassau Sound and extend from Amelia River, Quarantine Reach red marker 4 and green marker 5 to Nassau Sound Offshore marker N6A. The Dredge SAVANNAH will monitor VHF Channels 13 and 16. For additional information please contact the Project Manager, Mr. Thomas Payne 843-722-9083. (7th District LNM 17)

Waterway Analysis of Canaveral Barge Canal:
The Coast Guard is conducting a Waterways Analysis Managment System (WAMS) Study of the Canaveral Barge Canal and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway north and south of the Bennett Memorial Causeway. The study focuses on the area's aid to navigation system, waterborne commerce, marine casualty information, port/harbor resources, emergency response plans, communication capabilities and future development projects. Any interested company or individual wishing to provide comments or participate in a user survey should contact: Commander, Sector Jacksonville, 4200 Ocean Street, Atlantic Beach FL 32233. Attn CWO3 Steven D. McDonnel (904)564-7565. Email: Steven.D.Mcdonnell@uscg.mil Comments and user surveys are requested by July 31, 2011. (7th District LNM 14)

Shoaling in St. Lucie River:
St Lucie River Buoy 4 (LLNR 50645) has been replaced with a temporary unlit buoy in position 27-10-00.062N 080-11-01.833W and has been relocated to mark best water due to shoaling. (7th District LNM 17)

Shoaling in Manatee Pocket Entrance:
Temporary Danger Shoal markings have been installed by Martin County in the entrance to Manatee Pocket located in the center of the channel between Red DBN 2 and 4 to mark a 4 FT shoal. There are no lighted aids to navigation in Manatee Pocket. All mariners are advised to transit the area with extreme caution. (7th District LNM 15)

Okeechobee Waterway Update:
On April 27, 2011 the lake level was reported at 11.07 feet.

Cable off Port Everglades:
The Coast Guard has received a report of discarded cable discovered in position 26-07.417N 080-04.551W. All mariners are advised to anchor with caution. (7th District LNM 16)

Sediment Core Sampling off Port Everglades:
Down-to-Earth Geotechnical Consulting, Inc (D2E) will commence collection of vibracore sediment samples within the area proposed for the Port Everglades Sand Bypass located adjacent to the Port Everglades Entrance Channel between 26.0948N 080.1037W and 26.0951N and 080.1073W. The work is scheduled to start the week of April 25 and the anticipated duration is about 10 working days. All drilling will take place outside of the limits of the navigational channel (on the north side). All mariners are advised to transit the area with caution. (7th District LNM 16)

Hazards to Navigation:
Florida West Coast: The Coast Guard has received a report of a 42 FT vessel completely submerged in 9.5 FT of water 2NM E-SE of Boca Grande Pass in position 26-42.345N 082-13.245W. All mariners are advised to transit the area with caution. (7th District LNM 16)
The Coast Guard has received a report of a sunken 40 FT recreational vessel with an aluminum bimini top exposed 3-4 FT above the waterline S of Isla Del Sol near the Pinellas Bayway Bridge Echo. All mariners are advised to transit the area with caution. (7th District LNM 16)

Port Manatee Dredging:
B.C. Peabody Construction Services will commence floating and staging submerged pipeline beginning on or about April 26, 2011. The dredge operations will start approximately on or around May 8, 2011 and ending approximately on or about January 1, 2012. The dredging operations will be conducted during daylight hours only - Sunrise to Sunset. All watercraft and floating pipeline will be lighted and clearly marked. The Dredge BARRACUDA and associated skiff & barge and push boat will monitor VHF CH 16 and 89. For additional information, please contact the Project Manager, Mr. Wayne Riley 305-903-9009. All mariners are advised to transit the area with caution. (7th District LNM 17)

Florida Bridge Update: From the USCG 7th District LNM 17/2011:
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.
Fort Pierce North Bridge: Due to extensive corrosion evaluations at the Fort Pierce North Bridge, Fort Pierce, Florida, the Fort Pierce North Bridge will be placed on an hourly opening schedule whereas the bridge will open on the top of the hour from 9:05 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily, May 9 through May 13, 2011. The bridge will open on demand at all other times.
Indian River Bridge: The Indian River Bridge across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Cape Canaveral, Florida is being repaired. The bridge will be closed to navigation from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. daily May 6 through May 8, May 13 through May 15, May 20 through May 22 and May 27 through May 29, 2011. The bridge will operate normally at all other times.
Johns Pass Bridge: Due to mechanical repairs to the Johns Pass Bridge, Madeira Beach, Florida, the Johns Pass Bridge will be unable to open to navigation from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. on the nights of May 2 and May 3, 2011. The bridge will be operating normally as of 7:00 a.m. on May 4, 2011.
Matlacha Pass Bridge: Archer Western Contractors are replacing the Matlacha Pass Bridge, Matlacha Pass mile 6.0, Lee County, Florida. The contractor will need to close the channel under the Matlacha Pass Bridge in order to drive the piling for the bridge supports. This will be done from a barge that will be blocking the channel for 2 to 3 days in a row in July, 2011. The schedule will be posted on the Lee County web site which will provide an up to date listing of channel closures. Due to the major construction activity at this bridge site mariners are reminded to be extremely careful when transiting through this area. The contractor may not be in the channel at all times during this restrictive period. Contact the bridge tender for passing information. Channel closures have also been scheduled in August and then again in November/December 2011. The dates of these closures will be published in future Local Notice to Mariners.

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

NJ Bridges Updates:
This is new and way in the future, but a major closure—Plan ahead.
Mariners are advised that the Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the drawbridge operating regulations for the Route 30/Absecon Boulevard Bridge, at NJICW mile 67.2, across Beach Thorofare in Atlantic City NJ. Under this deviation, the drawbridge will be closed to vessels requiring an opening beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, September 16, 2011 through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 13, 2012. This closure is necessary to facilitate extensive rehabilitation and to maintain the bridge’s operational integrity. The available vertical clearance in the closed position to vessels is approximately 20 feet, above mean high water.  The navigable channel will not be obstructed so vessels that can pass under the bridge without a bridge opening may continue to do so at anytime.  The Atlantic Ocean is an alternate route for vessels with mast heights greater than 20 feet and the drawbridge will be unable to open in the event of an emergency.  At all other times, the bridge will operate in accordance with drawbridge operating regulations set out in Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.733(e).  Mariners able to pass under the closed span may do so, adjust their transit accordingly and use caution when transiting the area. (5th District Bridge Branch)
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)

Cape May Ferry Terminal Dredging:
The dredge MARION will be conducting dredging operations at the Cape May Ferry Terminal docks from 25 April until 13 May, 2011. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16. (5th District LNM 17)

Rappahannock River Bridge Inspection:
Mariners are advised that routine inspections will be performed at the Robert Opie Norris Bridge on Route 3, at mile 8.3, over Rappahannock River at Whitestone, VA on the weekdays of May 2, 2011 to June 10, 2011. To facilitate the inspection, three under bridge snooper trucks will be used on the roadway along with a work/safety boat between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mariners should exercise extreme caution when transiting the area. (5th District LNM 16)

Craney Island Hazard:
Mariners are advised that a 15 foot by 6 inch metal bar has been lost approximately 300 yards east of Craney Island Pier D at 36-53-01N, 076-20-11W. Mariners are urges to use caution when transiting the area. (5th District LNM 16)

Norfolk Harbor Dredging:
The dredge PULLEN will be conducting dredging operations in the Elizabeth River from Lamberts Point to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth from 15 April until 31 October, 2011. Dredge material will be removed by tug and scow to the Craney Island Disposal area. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16. (5th District LNM 15)

Dismal Swamp Canal Annual Paddle for the Border Race:
On April 30, 2011, the annual Paddle for the Border event will take place in the Dismal Swamp Canal of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Paddlers will be between the City of Chesapeake Boat Launch (Mile Marker 21) and the North Carolina Visitor Center (Mile Marker 28) between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm. Over 300 vessels will be participating this year; boaters traveling this area should use additional caution during this time. (5th District LNM 14) This will definitely not be a good time to transit the Dismal Swamp Canal Route.

More Ocracoke Shoaling (Not on the AICW):
Shoaling to a depth of 3.0 feet MLW has been reported between Ocracoke Inlet Channel Lighted Buoy 16 (LLNR 28940) and Teaches Hole Channel Lighted Buoy 20 (LLNR 28955) extending across the channel. Mariners are urges to use caution when transiting the area. (5th District LNM 16)

Core Creek (AICW) Dredging
The dredge RICHMOND will be conducting dredging operations in Core Creek from 20 April until 20 May, 2011. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16. (5th District LNM 16)

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

Right Whales off New England:
On April 14, 2011, the Division of Marine Fisheries and the Center for Coastal Studies documented a large aggregation of endangered North Atlantic right whales around Provincetown. A High Risk Advisory is being issued due to the number of whales, their behavior, their proximity to shore and the abundance of zooplankton in the area. Approximately 25 - 30 whales were seen sub-surface and surface feeding within 500 yards of the beach, from Race Point down to Long Point and inside to Truro. Dense concentrations of zooplankton at the surface and just below the surface are driving the whales? behavior. Whales that are surface and subsurface feeding are often difficult to see and at great risk for vessel strike. Vessel strike is a major cause of human-induced mortality for right whales. For the safety of both mariners and whales, vessel operators in this area are strongly urged to proceed with caution, reduce speed (less than 10 knots), and post lookouts to avoid colliding with this highly endangered whale.
Based on zooplankton resources collected on April 14, we expect that this aggregation of whales will persist for several more days to perhaps a week. This advisory is will be lifted when right whales depart the area. Federal law prohibits vessels greater than 65 feet in length from exceeding speeds of 10 knots in Cape Cod Bay during this time of year; however right whales are still vulnerable to collision with smaller vessels. Vessel traffic is expected to increase in this area over the next few weeks with seasonal increases in recreational and commercial fishing, as well as whale watching, and passenger ship activity. Right whales are the most endangered large whale in the North Atlantic, with a population of approximately 450 animals.
Vessels are also prohibited by state and federal law from approaching within 500 yards of a right whale. Massachusetts Environmental Police and U.S. Coast Guard are authorized to enforce the 500- yard rule. Vessels that find themselves within 500 yards of a right whale should slowly and cautiously exit the area.
Management of maritime activities near right whales is part of the Marine Fisheries Right Whale Conservation Program. The Right Whale Conservation Program is a cooperative effort between Marine Fisheries, the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (CCS), and the National Marine Fisheries Service to study and protect right whales in Cape Cod Bay. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) issues notices to mariners via the Northern Right Whale Sighting Advisory System (SAS). Participating agencies in the SAS include Marine Fisheries and the Massachusetts Environmental Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), CCS, and other research groups. Advisories can be viewed at the NOAA Fisheries Northeast Region web site
(http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/psb/surveys, http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/psb/surveys) and are broadcast over NOAA weather radio. For more information, visit the MarineFisheries website at www.mass.gov/marinefisheries or contact Erin Burke (Erin.Burke@state.ma.us, 978 551-0152) or Dan McKiernan (dan.mckiernan@state.ma.us, 617 626-1536). Center for Coastal Studies (www.coastalstudies.org) right whale researcher Dr. Charles Mayo can be reached at (508) 487-3623. (First District LNM 16)

Cruise Ship/USCG Exercise and Test, Maine:
The Coast Guard will conduct an exercise and demonstration with the Cruise Ship MAASDAM to test their GMDSS systems. The MF/HF, VHF-DSC radios, EPIRB, RADAR SART, AIS SART, AIS-B transponder, and a Date Marker Buoy that is equipped with a AIS transponder will be activated in the general Anchorage Area (110.130). The exercise will be conducted from 8am to 4pm on May 13, 2011. All mariners are advised to transit the area with caution. (First District LNM 17)

Unmanned Submersible Vessel Testing, MA:
Bluefin Robotics of Quincy, MA is going to be placing 18 targets on the seafloor just east of Harding?s Ledge in support of a test event for the Office of Naval Research. They will be testing unmanned submersible vehicles which will deploy to detect and identify various objects in the identified waters. Testing is intended from 25APR2011 through 09MAY. The area where the operations will take place will be within a 2 NM x 2 NM square as follows:
NW Corner: 42-19.932'N / 070-49.600'W
NE Corner: 42-19.932'N / 070-46.900'W
SE Corner: 42-17.960'N / 070-46.900'W
SW Corner: 42-17.960'N / 070-49.600'W
No objects will be left on the seafloor after 09MAY2011. (First District LNM 16)

Right Whale Study, Cape Cod:
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is doing a Right Whale study until 14 May 2011. On scene are four moorings in the following positions:
near surface A
41 56.998 N
70 15.802 W
near surface B
41 55.101 N
70 22.600 W
near surface C
41 52.001 N
70 15.499 W
sea bed array
41 56.986 N
70 15.817 W (First District LNM 15)

Troy Lock to Open for the Season:
The US Army Corps of Engineers has announced that the Hudson River Troy Lock will open for the navigation season at 6:00 A.M. on May 1, 2011. Mariners are advised to contact the Lock on marine channel 13 or by telephone at 518-272-6442 to request passage when they are in the vicinity of the Lock. Mariners are also cautioned that high water and debris may impact the operating schedule. The Troy Lock will operate seven days per week between the hours of 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. Commercial Traffic may request passage during non-scheduled operating hours (10:00 P.M. through 6:00 A.M.) by contacting the lock at 518-272-6442 at least twenty-four hours prior to requested passage. (First District LNM 17)

Subsurface Mooring Buoy, CT:
A subsurface mooring buoy will be temporarily established from May 9 - 16, 2011, in approximate position 40-08-30.000N / 070-49-00.000W, near the Traffic Lanes. Mariners are requested to proceed with caution while transiting the area. (First District LNM 16)

Shoaling in Moriches Bay:
Shoaling has been reported in Moriches Bay along the Long Island Intercoastal Waterway in the vicinity of buoy 18 and in the vicinity of buoys 26, 27, 28 and 29. All mariners are advised to proceed with caution when transiting the area as unexpected shoaling may be present. (First District LNM 16)

Long Island Dredging:
Dredging is being done in Jones Inlet & Reynolds Channel until approximately 15 May 2011. Two buoys will be on scene in (PA) North 40-35.583N 073-34-457W and South 40-35.565N 073-34.454W. Mariners are requested to proceed with caution while transiting the area. (First District LNM 15)

Sediment Sampling North of Cross-Bronx Expressway:
Arcadis will be taking sediment samples within the channel, north of the Cross Bronx Expressway, from May 2-13, 2011. Hours of operation are Mon-Fri, 0700-1800. The ARCADIS #3 and #4 will be on scene and can move with 10 minutes notice. Each sampling operation will take about 30 minutes. (First District LNM 17)

Diving and Sonar Surveys, Hudson Project:
Randive and Alpine Ocean Inc. will be conducting side scan sonar surveys along the Hudson Project power cable route between Edgewater, NJ and West 49th Street / Pier 88 Manhattan, from April 7 to May 6, 2011. Work hours are Monday to Friday during daylight hours. Diving operations will be conducted at slack water to identify targets along the route that may impede future cable installation. The 30’ dive boat BECKY ANN can move within 10 minutes notice to not impede commercial navigation with notice via CH 13. The BECKY ANN will notify Vessel Traffic Service New York (VTSNY) on VHF CH 14 fifteen minutes prior to starting, and upon completion, of each dive operation. No diving operations will be authorized if visibility is less than one nautical mile. The on-scene points of contact are Mr. Keith Michalski at 732.991.2274 or Mr. Kurt Erlandson at 732.991.2273 or the M/V BECKY ANN on VHF CH 13. Vessels with concerns about the location within the channel should immediately notify VTSNY via CH 11, Phone: 718.354.4088, or D01-SMB-VTS-WatchOfficer@uscg.mil. (First District LNM 15)

Atlantic Highlands Breakwater Light Change:
The Coast Guard is considering making the following change to Aids to Navigation:
CHANGE Atlantic Highlands Breakwater Light (LLNR 35595) nominal range to 6NM.
REMOVE the Light List remark “Higher intensity beam northward”.
This proposal would incorporate Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology.

Interested Mariners are strongly encouraged to comment on this proposal in writing, either personally or through their organization. All comments will be carefully considered and are requested prior to 13 May 2011 to complete the process. Refer to Project No. 01-11-081. In addition to the address listed on the front cover, e-mail can be sent to: Jack.J.McLaughlin@uscg.mil and faxes to (617) 223-8291. (First District LNM 17)

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.