East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

NOAA Red Snapper Ban:
            Beginning January 4, 2010, both recreational and commercial fishing for red snapper in the federal waters off the Atlantic coast of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas will be banned. The ban will be in effect for six months during spawning season while long term effects are studied, and may be extended. Federal waters off Florida’s Atlantic Coast begin 3.45 miles from shore and extend out around 230 miles. It is permissible to fish for red snapper in state waters, but most of these fish are caught farther offshore.

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

Attention Snowbirds!!

New Oak Island (AICW Mile 316.6) Bridge Delays Continue:
            Mariners are advised to TAKE CAUTION and PROCEED SLOWLY when approaching the construction site of a new highway bridge to Oak Island (Middleton Avenue), over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Mile 316.6, in Brunswick County, NC from 08 December, 2009 until 11 January, 2010. Barges and a crane will be in the channel installing girders causing delays of approximately four hours between 07:30 A.M. and 11:30 P.M. To avoid waterway delays, we advise mariners to check the construction schedule by calling the bridge site (910-278-5526 or 910-443-0688) a day or two prior to their arrival. (5th District LNM 49)

New Sunset Beach Bridge Construction Delays:    
            Mariners are advised to TAKE CAUTION and PROCEED SLOWLY when approaching the construction site of a new highway bridge to Sunset Beach (SR-1172), over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Mile 337.9, in Brunswick County, NC. The bridge girder installation is schedule to take place between 6:00 a.m. December 1, 2009 through 6:00 P.M. January 31, 2010. The contractor will be utilizing a deck barge with a 50’ beam, a ringer crane on a stationary barge with an 85’ beam, and tugs/pushers to conduct the bridge girder installation. To provide for the safety of the public, the Coast Guard will temporarily restrict access to this section of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway during center girder installation, scheduled daily from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. We advise mariners to check the schedule to avoid waterway delays by calling the bridge site (910-579-3538) a day or two prior to your arrival. (5th District LNM 49)

AICW closure at Ben Sawyer Bridge Postponed until January, 2010:
Press Release from the Ben Sawyer Bridge Rehabilitation Project:
            PCL Civil Constructors, the Ben Sawyer Bridge Rehabilitation Contractor, has decided to wait until January 2010 to close the Ben Sawyer Bridge and Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
            Due to the inclement weather experienced this week and the future weather system forecasted for this weekend, the contractor has had to postpone critical activities necessary to proceed with the full closure this weekend. Also, during today’s preparation activities, an unexpected issue arose with the jacking system associated with the approach spans currently constructed on-site that could potentially affect the rolling of these spans into their final location. The contractor is investigating the jacking system to further ensure that once the closure begins all risks will be minimized regarding the 236-hour closure. 
            The contract has a blackout period between December 18th and January 3rd, where closure of the bridge is prohibited. 
            SCDOT and the bridge contractor recognize the importance of the bridge for local vehicular and boat traffic.  Rather than rushing to complete the closure before the holidays, the decision was made to be cautious and wait until after the holidays to begin the full closure.    
            A shift in the closure date to January is not expected to impact the contractor’s ability to meet the contract completion date of May 5, 2010.  The contract has financial incentives and disincentives to complete the closure within 236 hours, but it does not require a specific time for the closure as long as it is prior to March 31, 2010. 

Dredging in Palm Valley, Florida:
            A large dredging operation was in progress in Palm Valley, Florida when we passed through on November 25, 2009. This is the second phase of the FIND project in this area.

Special Notices

From November to April the coastal waters between Altamaha Sound, GA, and Sebastian Inlet, FL, are used as calving grounds by the critically endangered right whale. Critically endangered right whales, including females with very young calves, may be encountered in offshore and coastal waters. Right whales are slow moving and at risk of serious injury or death due to collisions with vessels. Beginning December 9, 2008, U.S. law (50 CFR 224.105) prohibits operating vessels 65 feet (19.8 M) or greater in excess of 10 knots in specific managed locations along the U.S. East Coast during times when right whales are likely to be present. See enclosed “Compliance Guide for Right Whale Ship Strike Reduction Rule” for specific times, areas, and exceptions to this law. Intentionally approaching within 500 yards of right whales is prohibited and is a violation of U.S. law. A minimum distance of 500 yards must be maintained from a sighted right whale unless hazardous to the vessel or its occupants. NOAA recommends that operators assume that any whale sighting is a right whale. NOAA also recommends speeds of 10 knots or less in areas used by right whales and outside of seasonally managed areas when consistent with safety of navigation. NOAA also recommends operators use two-way whale avoidance routes within the WHALESSOUTH MSR area. Please report all right whale sightings and collisions to 877-433-8299 or the Coast Guard via channel 16. For more information, consult the U.S. Coast Pilot. Vessels that report MSR arrivals via TELEX must use the new number 48156090 effective immediately. The existing e-mail address currently in use (rightwhale.msr@noaa.gov) remains active. WHALESSOUTH Mandatory Ship Reporting area is active from November 15 to April 16.
(District 7 LNM 49)

Jeffreys Ledge DMA Restriction Extended:
            NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service announces that the voluntary vessel speed restriction zone (Dynamic Management Area - DMA) near Jeffreys Ledge has been extended due to continued sightings of right whales in the area during a survey yesterday. The Jeffreys Ledge DMA is extended through December 17, 2009. Mariners are requested to route around the area or transit through it at 10 knots or less.
The DMA is bound by the following:
            Jeffreys Ledge DMA - Active through 17 Dec 2009
Northern boundary: 43 33N
Southern boundary: 42 32N
Eastern boundary: 069 27W
Western boundary: 070 49W
            For more information about the DMA program and other regulations to reduce ship strikes of right whales, please visit:
(5th District LNM 49)

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

Obsolete Russian Submarine Follow-up:
            The end of the story: A 200’ x 60’ deck barge with a crane onboard is moored in the Providence River outboard of an obsolete Russian submarine at a waterfront scrapping facility just north of the National Grid LNG tank on the west bank of the Providence River. The barge and the Russian submarine lies parallel to the west side of the navigable channel in approximate position 41º - 48.2465’ North, 071º - 23.7771 West. The barge extends approximately 60 feet into the navigable channel of the Providence River. The barge is lighted at night by four white lights mounted on each corner, with a minimum visibility of one nautical mile. The barge will remain in the channel while scrapping operations are conducted on the Russian submarine, which may last several months. As operations permit, both the submarine and the barge will move closer to shore to minimize intrusion into the channel. Mariners should use extra caution when transiting in the vicinity of the moored deck barge and adjacent grounded Russian submarine museum. Questions regarding this Bulletin may be addressed to Mr. Edward G. LeBlanc at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England, 401-435-2351 or Edward.G.LeBlanc@uscg.mil. (First District LNM 48)

Groton, CT:
            Turbidity monitoring will be done from 23 November - 31 March, 2010 at Pier 1 (inner and outer), Naval Submarine Base. On scene will be turbidity meters mounted on buoys. Mariners are advised to use caution while operating in the area. (First District LNM 48)

Shoaling—Montauk Harbor Entrance:
            The Coast Guard has received a report of shoaling, mid channel at the entrance to Montauk Harbor. All mariners are requested transit the area with caution as unexpected shoaling may be present. (First District LNM 48)

Christmas Lights Light Montauk Light:
            Montauk Lighthouse will be decorated with holiday lights from November 28 through January 3, 2010. There will be vertical strings of white lights from the dome top down the west side (landward side) and a wreath of lights on the west (landward side). There will be no lights on the east (seaward side) of the tower and no lights will interfere with the functioning of the VEGA optic. The lights will be displayed during evening hours only. (First District LNM 48)

No Radio-Activated Fog Signal for Huntington Harbor:
              CANCEL for the time being: The Coast Guard is cancelling project 01-09-124. The project was to CHANGE Huntington Harbor Light fog signal to radio activated. The project was previously advertised in Local Notice to Mariners 39/09 through 41/09. (First District LNM 48)

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

Lost Dredge Spud:
            A dredge spud has been lost on the south side of the channel at Shark River Inlet at approximate position 40-11.204N, 074-00.405W. The position is marked with an orange ball float pending salvage operations. Mariners are advised to exercise caution when transiting the inlet. (5th District LNM 49)

Atlantic City, NJ Bridge Repair:
            Mariners are advised that fender repairs will be conducted at the Route 87 Bridge at mile 0.6 across Absecon Inlet, in Atlantic City NJ, each day from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on November 20, 2009 through January 20, 2010. This will be a movable operation as not to impede vessel traffic. Mariners should use exercise caution when transiting the area. (5th District LNM 49)

Grassy Sound Drawbridge:
            Mariners are advised that the fender system repairs are in progress at the Grassy Sound Drawbridge near North Wildwood, NJ. Work is authorized now and to be completed March 2010. The fender repairs will be made from a crane and barge located at the site, outside of the channel and will not interfere with the operation of the drawbridge. Working hours will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Mariners are advised to exercise caution when transiting the area. (5th District LNM 49)
            The U.S. Coast Guard has approved a temporary deviation from the regulations governing the operation of the County Route 619, Grassy Sound Channel Drawbridge, mile 1.0, in Middle Township, NJ. The Cape May County Bridge Commission owns and operates the drawbridge. 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 April 1, 2010 and 5 p.m. on May 15, 2010. Mariners will be able to take a detour through the nearby Great Channel Drawbridge. (5th District LNM 49)

I-295 Bridge Construction Anacostia River (D.C.):
            Mariners are advised that marine construction operations are scheduled to occur at the 11th Street (I-295) Bridges, across the Anacostia River at mile 2.1, in Washington, DC until late spring 2010. Starting December 7, 2009, Skanska USA Civil Southeast will be mobilizing equipment to a location between the existing bridges, in approximate position latitude 38° 52' 18" N, longitude 076° 59' 24" W, and immediately moving them to either side of the Anacostia River outside the channel. The work will be conducted using 2 crane barges, 3 material barges and 2 skiffs. Starting December 16, 2009, operations will begin on either side of the channel, with deliveries scheduled to the site intermittently. Equipment and barges will be crossing the channel at the site occasionally; the channel will remain passable. The channel may be restricted only during the short movements of the barges. All vessels and equipment will be marked and lighted in accordance with USCG regulations. Interested mariners may contact the tender vessel “Marshall Callahan” via marine band radio channel 16 VHF-FM, or the Project Engineer at telephone 202-484-2330 or 678-794-6767. (5th District LNM 49)

Lower Chesapeake Dredging:
            The Dredge JENNI LEA will be conducting hydraulic dredging operations in Winter Harbor from the turning basin to the channel entrance from 04 December, 2009 until 15 January, 2010. The work boats MISS LEANNE and DANNY JOE will be on scene assisting. The dredge and assisting vessels will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16. A submerged and floating pipeline will transport the spoil to the beach and will be lighted and marked according to regulations.  (5th District LNM 49)

Chesapeake Bay Entrance North Channel Aids to Navigation Change:
            On or about February 10, 2010, the Coast Guard will make the following changes to the aids to navigation in the Chesapeake Bay Entrance- North
Channel to better mark the channel and shoaling:
            A. The following aids to navigation will be DISCONTINUED:
1. North Channel Entrance Buoy 2.
2. Middle Ground South End Lighted Bell Buoy 4A.
            B. The following aids to navigation will be ESTABLISHED:
1. North Channel Lighted Buoy 2N, Fl R 4s, at approximate position 37-00-23.055N, 075-55-44.340W.

            (There was no C.)    
            D. The following aids to navigation will be RELOCATED:
1. North Channel Buoy 4 to approximate position 37-00-59.885N, 075-56-01.312W.
2. North Channel Buoy 6 to approximate position 37-02-17.920N, 075-56-56.690W.
3. North Channel Buoy 8 to approximate position 37-03-13.460N, 075-57-56.150W.
4. North Channel Buoy 10 to approximate position 37-04-05.412N, 075-58-52.104W.
            Send comments on this change to: Commander (dpw) Fifth Coast Guard District, 431 Crawford Street, Rm.100, Portsmouth, VA. 23704, Attn.: Albert Grimes, or email to: Albert.L.Grimes@uscg.mil
(5th District LNM 49)

Repairs at Norfolk Naval Base:
            Skanska Construction will be conducting repairs to Pier 8 at the Norfolk Naval Base from 30 November until 14 December. 2009. Portions of the Skanska Barge Rig 20 will extend into the channel approximately 50 feet. The tug WILLIAM 2 will be on scene and will monitor VHF-FM channel 13. Upon request the tug will move the barge for marine traffic. For more information contact Mr. J. Berry at 704-791-6077. Mariners are urged to use caution when transiting the area. (5th District LNM 49)

AICW Dredging--Bogue Inlet Crossing:
            The Dredge WILKO will be conducting hydraulic dredging operations in the AIWW at the entrance to the Coast Guard Channel and Bogue Inlet crossing from 11 December, 2009 until 15 January, 2010. The work boats PROUD MARY and ANN KAY will be on scene assisting. The dredge and assisting vessels will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16. A submerged and floating pipeline will traverse southerly from the dredge site to the Emerald isle Beach and will be lighted and marked according to regulations. (5th District LNM 49)

Dredging of NC Inlets (Not on the AICW):
            1. The ACOE dredge FRY continues daylight dredging operations in New River Inlet and plans to transit to Carolina Beach Inlet on or about 09 December to begin dredging operations. The FRY maintains bridge watch on VHF channels 13/16 for any concerned traffic.
            2. The ACOE dredge MERRITT will begin daylight dredging operations at Lockwoods Folly Inlet on 07 December for approximately 20 days. The
MERRITT maintains bridge watch on VHF channels 13 /16 for any concerned traffic.
(5th District LNM 49)

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