East Coast Alerts
By Mel Neale
October 5, 2006

Italicized text indicates our comment. Plain text is copied from the Notices to Mariners or other sources given.

New Florida Anchoring Law:

Many of you will remember the 2005 Miami Beach law restricting anchoring by live-aboard vessels to seven days within the city limits. After protests by numerous individuals and organizations, and wide publicity, including here in East Coast Alerts (See the May 5, 2005 East Coast Alerts), the Florida legislature passed a new law, effective July 1, 2006, redefining how localities can regulate anchoring of vessels. This was only a very small part of a much broader law. Following is the actual wording of the amendment. Like many laws it isn’t as simple as it may seem and other sections of the code may also be relevant and if you have an issue, legal advice (which we cannot give here) may be appropriate.:

House Bill No. 7175

Statute 327.60 (2) is now amended to read:

“Nothing contained in the provisions of this section shall be construed to prohibit local governmental authorities from the enactment or enforcement of regulations which prohibit or restrict the mooring or anchoring of floating structures or live-aboard vessels within their jurisdictions or of any vessels within the marked boundaries of mooring fields permitted as provided in s. 327.40. However, local governmental authorities are prohibited from regulating the anchoring outside of such mooring fields of non-live-aboard vessels in navigation.”

The home page for the Seven Seas Cruising Association ( www.ssca.org) has a link to an article (Anchoring Rights) written by one of their directors, Richard Blackford, that explains the new law. Here also is also a form letter written by attorneys for the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers of America) that can be sent to localities that may be attempting to enforce illegal anchoring restrictions. If you plan to anchor in Florida any time soon, check this out so you will know more of your rights and so that you will be able to collect the appropriate information for the NMMA if needed.

There are very few “mooring fields” in Florida. Key words for boaters to consider include “live-aboard,” “non-live-aboard” and “in navigation.”

New Jersey ICW Bridge Continues Emergency Repair Restrictions:

USCG 1 st District LNM 39 reminds us that until further notice, mariners are advised that emergency draw repairs are in progress at the Dorset Avenue Bridge, at ICW mile 71.2, across Inside Thorofare in Ventnor City, New Jersey. The repairs require immobilizing the South side draw span in the closed position. The North side draw span will be operational and open on signal. The available horizontal clearance is approximately 25 feet. Mariners are advised to use extreme caution when transiting the area.

Cape May Dredging:

Snowbird cruisers who use this inlet on the way south this time of year as well as local marine interests should be aware of the following information from USCG 1 st District LNM 39: Mariners are advised that beach nourishment and associated dredging operations will commence off Cape May beach and in the Cape May Inlet on or about 10 October and continue for approximately 11 weeks. B+B Dredging Company will be dredging material from a borrow area located approximately two miles off Cape May Beach as well as dredging within the Cape May Inlet between the East and West Jetties. The dredge material will be placed on portions of the Cape May Beach as part of a Beach Nourishment Project. B+B Dredging Company intends to perform this work with the hopper dredge ATCHAFALAYA and will be monitoring VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16….The contractor intends to place temporary piling clusters inside Cape May Inlet between the navigable channel and West Jetty on the Sewell Point side of the inlet. These piles will be lighted with slow flashing amber lights on each cluster. No barges, pipes, anchors, or associated floating equipment will be crossing or be placed within the navigable channel for this project. For comments or questions, contact CWO Sean McGarigal at Coast Guard Sector Field Office Atlantic City, NJ. Telephone number: (609)677-2171. Charts: 12214, 12316, and 12317.

Delaware Dredging and Diving Activity:

From USCG 5 th District LNMs 39 and 40 :

The Dredge PULLEN will be conducting dredging operations in the Delaware River at the Bulk Head Shoal Channel to the Delaware City Refinery from 06 October until 05 November, 2006. A pipeline will run from the project to the offshore Disposal Area. The dredges will monitor marine VHF channels 13 and 16.

Diving operations on a historical shipwreck will be conducted in the vicinity of Roosevelt Inlet during daylight hours from 29 September through 27 October, 2007. The dive location is outside the eastern edge of the Roosevelt Inlet channel. The M/V VENTURE III will be temporarily moored at the site for the duration of the operations and will be monitoring VHF FM channels 13 and 16. The site will be marked with recreational dive flag markers.

The Dredge BROADKILL will be conducting dredging operations in the basin and shoaled areas adjacent to the University of Delaware College of Marine Studies Harbor, Lewes-Rehoboth Canal from 27 September until 30 November, 2006. The dredge will monitor marine VHF channels 13 and 16.

Mariners are advised that dredging operations will commence in the Assawoman Canal in Sussex County Delaware from its North end at White Creek to its South end at Little Assawoman Bay on 01October and continue for approximately 12 weeks to 30 December. The State of Delaware DREDGE INDIAN RIVER will be performing the hydraulic work in the canal. Material will also be removed by excavator working from the top of the canal banks. This dredging project is scheduled to take place during the months of October, November and December weekdays only, and is expected to take approximately three years to complete. When this project is actively in progress Monday through Friday, turbidity curtains will be placed in the canal upstream and down stream from the dredging operations effectively closing the canal to marine traffic in both directions in that area. The turbidity curtains will be removed at the end of the workday each Friday opening the canal for marine traffic for the weekends. For comments or questions, contact CWO Sean McGarigal at Coast Guard Sector Field Office Atlantic City, NJ. Telephone number: (609)677-2171. Charts: 12211 and 12216.

Chesapeake Bay , Maryland and Virginia:

From USCG 5 th District LNM 40:

Annapolis USCG Station:

Dredging: LAKE SERVICES, INC. will be conducting dredging operations in Fishing Creek in the navigation channel to the U.S. Coast Guard Station Annapolis, MD from 18 September until 31 December, 2006. Barges and scows may be moored in close proximity to the channel as necessary. Spoil will be transported by tug and scow to the Cox Creek-Curtis Bay Spoil Area. The dredge can be contacted on VHF-FM channels 13 and 16.

Middle Chesapeake, Eastern side:

Helicopter Operations: Mariners are advised that U. S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland will conduct operations on the middle Chesapeake Bay, between James Island and Upper Hooper Island, from September 8, 2006 through October 31, 2006. Operations include a large, single naval helicopter at flight altitudes of 50 feet to 125 feet, towing surface and sub-surface devices at speeds up to 25 knots during daytime only, from Monday through Saturday. The length of cable between the aircraft and the sonar device will be up to 750 feet, with a towed depth of up to 45 feet. The area, approximately 1 nautical mile wide, is located within the following points: 38° 29' 50" N 076° 24' 55" W (NW corner), 38° 29' 59" N 076° 23' 18" W (NE corner), 38° 21' 19" N 076° 20' 09" W (SW corner), and 38° 21' 30" N 076° 18' 35" W (SE corner). The planned helicopter operations will not interfere with vessel traffic required to operate within the federal navigation channel, and even under tow the aircraft is maneuverable enough to yield to such vessel traffic. Interested mariners should provide 24 hours advance notice if possible, but can contact Lieutenant Commander Joseph Amaral at telephone number 301-342-7543 or Mr. Mike Randall at telephone number 301-342-1328 at any time, since operations are not necessarily conducted everyday, but as required, and can be cancelled at the last minute. The aircraft will have a marine band radio that can be used to establish communications with vessel traffic, as required.

Potomac River Mouth Area:

Air Cushion Vehicles and Divers: The Navy will be conducting an exercise off shore at Webster Field, St. Inigoes, Maryland during the period of 24 October through 17 November, 2006. The operation involving surface control boats, air cushion vehicles and military divers will take place over, on or under the water in the operating area. The operating area is described as St. Mary's River South of Rose Croft Point and the Potomac River in the area enclosed by the St. Georges Island (MD), Sandy Point (VA), Smith Point (VA), and Point Lookout (MD). There will be an underwater sonar located near 38.08N and 076.26W and marked with a buoy. Military divers will be "targeting" the buoy and the tent complex; a Navy/USCG boat will alert any non-exercise boats should they approach the diving areas. Boat operators should be alert to the vehicles in the air and on the water, and divers offshore in the vicinity of St. Inigoes, Maryland.

Coordinates of the restricted airspaces being used are:

a. 38 - 05' 40"N, 076 - 33' 30"W North of Sandy Point, VA

b. 37- 53' 10" N, 076 -14' 00" W Smith Point, VA

c. 38 -02' 13" N, 076 -19' 25" W Point Lookout, MD

d. 38 -08' 27" N, 076 -19' 22" W Point No. Point, MD

e. 38 -13' 35" N, 076 -22' 29" W North of St. James, MD

f. 38 -11' 10" N, 076- 25' 15" W South of St. Mary's City, MD

Lower Central Bay, Onancock:

Dumped Rock: Approximately 2,000 tons of crushed rock has been inadvertently dumped in 22 feet of water in approximate position 37-44-23N, 075-58-32W, 8 NMs due west from Onancock Creek. Reduction in water depth over the dump site has not been determined and Mariners are advised to use extreme caution while transition this area.

Norfolk/Hampton Roads Area:

Dredging at NIT: The Dredge ATLANTIC will be conducting dredging operations in the vicinity of Norfolk International Terminal, North Wharf Extension from 06 October until 07 January, 2007. A pipeline will from the project area to the Craney Island Disposal Area. The dredge can be contacted on VHF FM channels 13 and 16.

Florida Alerts from USCG 7 th District LNM 40:

Shoaling ICW at St. Augustine Inlet Area:

Shoaling has been reported in the vicinity of Tolomato River Lighted Buoy 60. All mariners are urged to transit the area with extreme caution.

NOTE: This is the buoy marking a sometimes confusing sharp turn to starboard (when southbound) from the Tolomato River part of the ICW into the St. Augustine Inlet/Matanzas River part of the ICW. There has been a shoal building east towards the ICW channel here for years; it is usually marked with a white/orange Danger beacon.

Don’t Get Entangled at Hillsboro Inlet, Florida:

The Coast Guard has received a report of cables located on the east side of shoal area south of Hillsboro Inlet. All mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution when transiting this area.

Florida Bridge News:

Bridge Of Lions, M ile 797.9 , St Augustine, Channel Now Open:

On October 4, 2006 we received the following letter from Laurie Sanderson, Public Information Officer, Bridge of Lions Rehabilitation Project (904) 825-3647:

The remaining scheduled channel closures at the Bridge of Lions October 2, 2006 through October 6, 2006 from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. have been canceled. The channel is open. More information will be provided in the future when a channel closure becomes necessary, although this is not expected until mid-November at the earliest. For more information, please call (904) 825-3647 or e-mail info@FDOTBridgeofLions.com.

From Bridge Enclosure to USCG 7 th District LNMs 39 and 40:

Kingsley Creek Railroad Bridge:

The Kingsley Creek Railroad Bridge, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway mile 720.7, Nassau County, Florida, fender system has been damaged. Mariners should transit the area with extreme caution.

Ernest F. Lyons Bridge Construction/Demolition:

The demolition of the Ernest F. Lyons ( Ocean Boulevard) Bridge, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterwaymile 984.9, Martin County, Florida is scheduled to begin on September 27, 2006 and will continue until November 8, 2006. During this time period there will be periodic waterway closures. Updates will be provided via future Broadcasts and Local Notice to Mariners. Demolition blasting is tentatively scheduled for October 9th, October 23rd and November 14th, 2006. These dates may change depending on weather conditions and will be updated in future Notice to Mariners.

PGA Bridge, Single Leaf Operation and Two Day Closure:

The PGA Boulevard Bridge (SR 786), Intracoastal Waterway mile 1012.6, West Palm Beach, Florida is on single-leaf operations only until October 9, 2006. Due to bridge repairs a two day bridge closure has been scheduled for October 23 and 24, 2006. These dates may change and will be advertised in future Local Notice to Mariners.

Southern Boulevard Schedule Change Proposed:

The Coast Guard proposes to change the regulation governing the operation of the Southern Boulevard (SR 700/80) Bridge across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway mile 1024.7, Palm Beach, Florida. The proposed rule would require the drawbridge to open twice an hour. The proposed schedule is based on requests from vessel operators along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. The proposed schedule would require the bridge to open on the quarter and three quarter-hour and would meet the reasonable needs of navigation while not impacting vehicular traffic. Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before October 16, 2006. You may mail comments and related material to Commander (dpb), Seventh Coast Guard District, 909 S.E. 1st Avenue, Room 432, Miami, Florida 33131-3050. You may also email your comments to Michael.b.lieberum@uscg.mil . Please include your name and address on all correspondence. Ref: LNM 36 through 38-06 and Federal Register Docket #CGD07-06-130 Chart: 11467. (See Ed. Comment regarding this proposal in previous East Coast Alerts, September 21, 2006)

Oakland Park Bridge Painting:

The Oakland Park Boulevard Bridge, Intracoastal Waterway mile 1060.5, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida is on single-leaf operations until November 22, 2006. A double-leaf opening is available with a three hour notice to the bridge tender.

Bluewater Books and Charts October Events: Calder and Kretschmer:

Nigel Calder will be at Bluewater Books & Charts on Wednesday, October 11, at 5:30 PM, for a seminar on electronic navigation and book signing. Calder has written many books on mechanics, maintenance, cruising and navigation, including The Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual, Marine Diesel Engines, Refrigeration for Pleasureboats, Nigel Calder's Cruising Handbook, Cuba: A Cruising Guide , and How to Read a Nautical Chart.

Bluewater Books & Charts will host a reading and discussion by author John Kretschmer of his forthcoming book At the Mercy of the Sea on Wednesday, Oct 18, at 5:30 PM. Kretschmer is a longtime contributing editor to Sailing magazine, a sailing/travel columnist for the Miami Herald , and writes regularly for Southern Boating and Cruising World . At the Mercy of the Sea is about three different sailboats and three different sailors that came together in the Anegada Passage during Hurricane Lenny, a Category 5 storm in November of 1999.

Wine and cheese will be served, and the both authors will sign books and answer questions after their presentations. These events are free of charge, but come early to get a seat. Bluewater Books & Charts is located at 1811 Cordova Rd, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33313.

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 that use.

Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale

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