East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Attention Snowbirds

Mantanzas Inlet AICW Shoaling Again:
          The Coast Guard has received a report of shoaling that extends half-way across the channel in the vicinity of the following aids:
Matanzas River Buoy 81A
Matanzas River Buoy 81B
Matanzas River Buoy 81C
Matanzas River Buoy 81D
Mariners are urged to transit the area with extreme caution. (7th District LNM 07)
          NOTE: This notoriously shoal-prone area is the most often dredged waterway in Florida. The usual pattern that we have observed in the past 26 years of cruising in this area has been that shoaling builds up from the ocean side of the AICW and pushes the deep channel westward. But you can’t rely on what has happened in the past. This report does not indicate which half of the channel has shoaled. Seek local knowledge before you pass through, and look for updates from the Coast Guard as to locations of these markers, as they are often moved to mark the best water. *
          *Italicized text above and below indicates our comment or paraphrase. 
Plain text is copied from the Notices to Mariners or other sources given.

Ben Sawyer AICW:
          The new center span is in place and the ICW is open.*
From Coast Guard Sector Charleston:

This announces the publication of Update #1 to "MSIB 13-10, Ben Sawyer Bridge Safety Zone No Longer in Effect; Bridge Openings Restricted" on HOMEPORT, http://homeport.uscg.mil/charleston

MSIB (13-10) – Ben Sawyer Bridge Safety Zone No Longer in Effect; Bridge Openings Restricted
Update #1 & Issued: February 15, 2010/1100        Expires: February 18, 2010/1800

The two scheduled openings for Monday, January 15, 2010 of the new Ben Sawyer Bridge span are cancelled due to safety concerns at the construction site. The bridge will tentatively have scheduled openings at 0600 and 1800 on Tuesday February 16 through Thursday February 18. During those scheduled openings, the bridge will remain open for all vessels that are present to come through at those times.

The previously announced safety zone surrounding the replacement of the Ben Sawyer Bridge is no longer in effect as of Sunday February 14, 2010 at 1600. The waterway is open to all vessels that meet the vertical clearance of the bridge; however vessels are reminded to use caution while transiting under the bridge as there is still ongoing construction.

Mariners are encouraged to monitor the Broadcast Notice to Mariners on VHF Channel 16 for any changes in the proposed scheduled openings. Coast Guard Sector Charleston may be contacted via our 24-hour Command Center Line at (843) 740-7050.

Note: We received notice from the Ben Sawyer Bridge Rehabilitation Project that the Wednesday evening opening did not occur due to unseasonable weather delaying work. Check ahead if you are traveling in this area.

Bridge of Lions Channel Restrictions & Closures: February 2010:
Revised and published February 12, 2010

Channel Restrictions & Closures:

February 15, 2010-February 18, 2010: Channel width restricted each day 7:30 am until 5:30 pm, except for three scheduled full openings. One leaf of the drawbridge lowered - channel restricted to 35 feet horizontal clearance. Bridge opens, but channel is restricted. Full channel width provided during these openings: 10am, 1pm, and 4:30pm


These restrictions/closures have been reviewed and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Please call (904) 825-3647 or (904) 669-1165 with questions.
Laurie Sanderson

Public Information Officer
Bridge of Lions Rehabilitation Project


Right Whale Update—Extension of Restricted Speeds in DMA:
          NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service announces that voluntary vessel speed restriction zones (Dynamic Management Area - DMA) have been established in the vicinity of Ponce De Leon Inlet, south of the Southeast Seasonal Management Area, to protect aggregations of the North Atlantic Right Whales. Mariners are requested to route around these areas or transit through at 10 knots or less.
          The DMA is described as follows:
Ponce de Leon Inlet DMA - Active through February 23, 2010
Northern boundary: 29° 45’N
Southern boundary: 28° 59’N
Eastern boundary: line drawn from northern boundary at 080° 51.6’W and the southern boundary at 080° 38’W
Western boundary: Shoreline
          For more information about the DMA program and other regulations to reduce ship strikes of right whales, please visit: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/shipstrike (7th District LNM 07)

Unusable Time for DGPS Sites:
Preventative Maintenance:

          Macon, Georgia DGPS Site: Unusable time is authorized for the following date/time:
PRIMARY 1400Z - 1600Z February 26, 2010 (0900 - 1100 EST)
SECONDARY 1400Z - 1600Z February 27, 2010 (0900 - 1100 EST)
          Savannah, Georgia DGPS Site: Unusable time is authorized for the following date/time:
PRIMARY: 1400Z - 1600Z February 23, 2010 (0900 - 1100 EDT)
ALTERNATE: 1400Z - 1600Z February 24, 2010 (0900 - 1100 EDT)
(7th District LNM 07)

Installation of a Nautel Transmitter:
          Tampa, Florida DGPS Site: Unusable time authorized for the following date/time:
PRIMARY: 1400Z February 24, 2010 - 0200Z February 25, 2010 (0900 - 2100 EST)
ALTERNATE: 1400Z February 25, 2010 - 0200Z February 26, 2010 (0900 - 2100 EST)

Please address any questions to the USCG NAVCEN DGPS EAST OPS POC: DGPS WATCH, (703) 313-5902 (7th District LNM 07)

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

Chatham Harbor, MA, Shoaling:
          The Coast Guard has received a report of extreme shoaling Chatham Harbor. (First District LNM 06)

Sunken Vessel, Mystic River, MA:
          Mariners are advised to use caution when transiting the area in vicinity of auto port terminal due to a sunken vessel. Boom is deployed in the area surrounding the sunken vessel and mariners are advised to proceed at a slow speed and with caution. (First District LNM 06)

Point Judith Harbor of Refuge Dredging:
          Maintenance dredging of the Point Judith Harbor of Refuge will commence on February 1, 2010 and continue until approximately March 15, 2010. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has contracted with Village Dock, Inc., for this project. The Project Manager is Mr. Sean Murray who may be reached at 516-779-4308. The Project Superintendent is Mr. Daniel Dilgen who can be reached at (631) 879-2915. On-site work vessels include the crane barge Charlotte Fae, the dump scow Pequot, the dump scow SEI 2000, the tug boat Fire Island, and the tug boat On The Rocks. The working frequency for dredging operations is VHF channel 18. VHF channel 16 will be continuously monitored as well. Mariners are urged to use extra caution when navigating in the vicinity of the Point Judith Harbor of Refuge and Point Judith Pond during dredging operations. (First District LNM 06)

Debris in NY Harbor:
          The Coast Guard has received a report of a piling where only the top is visible out of the water in the center of the Hudson River in the vicinity of the USS Intrepid. All vessels are required to proceed with caution and report sightings to the US Coast Guard. Additional information regarding debris in NY Harbor can be directed to the US Army Corps of Engineers at 201-333-1170. (First District LNM 06)

Ambrose Anchorage, Lost Anchor:
          The Coast Guard has received a report of a lost anchor in position 40 37.93N, 074 03.63W. The anchor is marked by a buoy. All vessels transiting or attempting to anchor in this area are advised to do so with caution to avoid entanglement. (First District LNM 06)

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

More Markers Discontinued for Shoaling:
          Due to continued shoaling of Nassawadox Creek, the Coast Guard can no longer access and safely mark this waterway. On or about March 16, 2010 the Coast Guard will discontinue the aids marking Nassawadox Creek.
Send comments to: Commander (dpw), 5th Coast Guard District, 431 Crawford Street, Rm. 100, Portsmouth, VA. 23704-5004, Attn.: Albert Grimes,or email to: Albert.L.Grimes@uscg.mil.(5th District LNM 07)

Sound Signals to be Discontinued, Lower Chesapeake:
          The Coast Guard is soliciting comments on discontinuing and removal of the following sound signal:
a. Chesapeake Channel Junction Lighted Buoy CY
b. Chesapeake Channel Lighted Bell Buoy 46
c. James River Channel Lighted Gong Buoy 55
d. York River Lighted Bell Buoy 19
e. Tangier Sound Lighted Bell Buoy 9
          In your comments, please address the impact this proposal may impose on your operation. Also; include, in your correspondence the means you are using to navigate this waterway any electric sensors used while transiting the Chesapeake Bay. Send comments not later than 16 March, 2010 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 07)

Live Firing off Virginia Coast:
          The Camp Pendleton State Military Reservation Live Fire Small Arms Range described as all of the waters seaward of the mean high water shore line within a sector between radial lines extending 13,500 yards seaward and bearing 070 degrees true and 150 degrees true, respectively, from a point on shore at 36- 48- 58.3N, 075- 57- 59.0W. All vessel operators are reminded to review Navigation Regulations as described in paragraph 334.380 of Chapter 2, of U.S. Coast Pilot 4, Atlantic Coast: Cape Henry to Key West (37th) Edition when operating south of the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. Firing will take place only during daylight hours and red flags will be displayed at conspicuous locations on the beach at the facility. Vessels shall proceed through the area with caution and shall remain in the area no longer than necessary for transit. The Camp Pendleton Live Fire Range will be active during the following periods:
DATE            UNIT                 AMMO          HOURS
26 Feb          329th RSG          9MM            0900-1300 (L) (5th District LNM 07)

Oregon Inlet Shoaling:
          Shoaling to a depth of less than 5.0 feet MLW has been reported 150 yards east of the center span of the Bonner Bridge in approximate position 35-46.425N, 075-32.125W. Mariners are requested to use caution while transiting the area. (5th District LNM 07)

Dredging in Lower Cape Fear River:
          The hopper dredge DODGE ISLAND will be conducting dredging operations in the Lower Cape Fear River from Horseshoe Shoals to the Baldhead Shoals Reach from 04 February until 05 April, 2010. The survey vessel EAST RIVER will be assisting. The dredge material will be deposited in the ocean Dredge material Disposal site. The dredge and assisting vessel will monitor VHF-FM channels 13, and 16. A slow NO WAKE speed is requested of transiting vessels. All vessels are requested to contact the dredge prior to passing. (5th District LNM 07)

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

Sunken Vessel off St. Johns River:
          A 28ft sailing vessel has sunk in Julington Creek in approximate position 30-07.9N 081-38.2W. The mast is visible at the waterline and is a hazard to navigation. All mariners should use caution when transiting the area. (7th District LNM 07)

St. Augustine Mooring Field Schedule:
          In December, 2009, St. Augustine approved a Harbor Management Plan including three mooring fields. By the end of the summer of 2010 these mooring fields should be ready for use if the planned schedule is maintained. The first step in the process was to remove unoccupied private mooring from the popular field in Salt Run in early February, 2010. While owners of these moorings had reportedly been given warning, many were not happy that it actually happened. Check the newspaper article at http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2010-02-09/boaters-angry-about-removal-mooring-balls for information on the remainder of the schedule for removal of boats and beginning of construction.
New Bridge Proposed for St. Lucie Canal:
          The Coast Guard is seeking comments on a proposed new bridge across the St. Lucie Canal at Mile 11.2 and the St. Lucie Lagoon. The new bridge would be fixed with a horizontal clearance of 200 feet and a vertical clearance of 55.7 feet MHW across the St. Lucie Canal. The horizontal clearance across the St. Lucie Lagoon would be 129 feet and the vertical clearance 25 feet MHW. Comments are requested to be sent to Commander, 7th Coast Guard District, 909 SE 1st Avenue, Ste 432, Miami, FL 33131-3028. The project manager is Randall Overton, 305 415 6749, randall.d.overton@uscg.mil.
          Details are available as an attachment to the USCG 7th District LNM 04-10

Okeechobee Waterway Update:
          On February 17, 2010 the lake level was reported at 13.50 feet.

Another Anchor and Chain Lost—Ft. Lauderdale:
          The Coast Guard received a report that an anchor and chain were lost somewhere in between positions 26-07.661N 080-03.348W and 26-07.75N 080-04.33W. All mariners are requested to use caution when anchoring in the vicinity of the Port Everglades Anchorage area. (7th District LNM 07)

Bakers Haulover AICW—New Nav Aid Marks Shoaling:
          The Coast Guard has temporarily set a 6th class buoy -Biscayne Bay Buoy 7C in position 25-54.065N 080-07-530W to mark shoal edge at Baker's Haulover. The buoy marks best water at low tide. (7th District LNM 07)

Pipeline under Dunedin Bridge:
          Due to a water main break under the north side of the Dunedin Bascule Bridge at (GICW MM 141.9) in Dunedin, Florida a temporary 16-inch in diameter pipeline will be installed and laid across the bottom of the channel. The channel depth in the Intracoastal Waterway under the Bridge is temporarily restricted by approximately 16-inches due to the installation of the temporary pipeline and there is already existing pipeline lying on the bottom of the channel. The temporary pipeline is not expected to obstruct navigation except during the installation and removal process. The temporary pipeline is tentatively scheduled to be removed in May 2010. Channel closures and restrictions will be broadcast by Sector St Petersburg as needed. (7th District LNM 07)

Submerged Vessel Hazard—Florida Keys:
          The Coast Guard has received a report of an upper shell of a 12ft white fiberglass hull with blue pin stripe partially submerged in position 24-33.58N 081-43.38W. All mariners are advised to stay alert and transit the area with caution. (7th District LNM 07)

Florida Bridge Update: From the USCG 7th District LNM 07
            FEC Railroad Bridge, St. Johns River: The FEC Railroad Bridge across the St. Johns River will be closed to navigation from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily on February 23 and 24, 2010, due to maintenance.
            J. Turner Butler Bridge (AICW Mile 749.5): Fender system is being replaced between January 18, 2010 and June 30, 2010.
            Crescent Beach Bridge (AICW Mile 788.6): Coastal Marine Construction, Incorporated is scheduled to repair and paint the Crescent Beach Bridge across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway mile 788.6, Crescent Beach, St. Johns County, Florida. From February 10 through December 30, 2010, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, this bridge will open a single-leaf on signal and will provide a double-leaf opening with a three hour notice to the bridge tender. During the painting operations, the vertical clearance of the down leaf will be reduced by five feet.
           Max Brewer Bridge (AICW Mile 878.9): AKA Titusville Bridge, is being replaced with a high level bridge. Construction began May 11, 2009 and will continue through April, 2011.
          Feb. 1-28, 2010: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. daily: West Channel of swing bridge closed, East Channel open with no restrictions.
          March 1-31, 2010: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. daily: East Channel of swing bridge closed, West Channel open with no restrictions.
Marine interests should contact Lane Construction at 321 607 5700 for additional information on construction schedules. USCG Jacksonville Waterways Management Division contact is BM1 Peter Nelson, 904 564 7666.

            SR 401 Bridge—Canaveral Barge Canal: Coastal Marine Construction, Incorporated is scheduled to repair and paint the SR 401 Bridge across the Canaveral Barge Canal mile 5.5, Cape Canaveral, Florida. The work will start on March 5 and continue through September 30, 2010 and will be conducted from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., seven days a week.
          The temporary schedule will be changed to:
The drawspan of the SR401 Drawbridge, mile 5.5 at Port Canaveral must open on signal; except that from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., Monday through Friday except Federal holidays, the drawspan need not be opened for the passage of vessels. From 8:01 a.m. to 3:29 p.m. and 5:16 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. this bridge will open a single-leaf unless a four hour notice is provided to the bridge tender for a double-leaf opening. From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., the drawspan must open on signal, if at least three hours notice is given. The drawspan must open as soon as possible for the passage of public vessels of the Unites States and tugs with tows.

           Boynton Inlet Bridge (Not on the ICW): Worth Contracting, Incorporated is schedule to start painting the Boynton Inlet Bridge, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Florida on February 15, 2010 and will continue until August 15, 2010. This work will require a horizontal clearance reduction to 57 feet during this time frame.
           Dixie Highway Bridge, Hillsboro Canal (Not on the AICW): The Florida Department of Transportation District 4, the bridge owner has proposed a replacement of the SR 811, Dixie Highway Bridge across the Hillsboro Canal, Deerfield Beach, Broward County, Florida. The Horizontal clearance would increase to 108 feet and the vertical clearance would increase to 22.7 feet at mean high water. Public Notice 11-09 is attached to this Local Notice to Mariners Chart: 11467 CG File: 2537
           Parker Boulevard Bridge (AICW Mile 1013): Starting mid-November will be on single leaf operations. Double leaf operations will be available with a two hour notice. Work is expected to be complete by March 30, 2010.
           Lantana Bridge (AICW Mile 1031): Special Bridge Notice. The Coast Guard has issued a public notice about the receipt of the bridge permit application for approval of location and plans to replace an existing bascule bridge across Lake Worth Lagoon, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, mile 1031.0 on Ocean Avenue, County Road 812, downtown City of Lantana to adjacent barrier island communities including Manalapan, South Palm and Hypoluxo, Palm Beach County, Florida. This Public Notice 01-10 which solicits comments through February 22, 2010, is attached to this Local Notice to Mariners. The project manager is Mr. Brodie Rich at (305) 415-6736 or by e-mail at: Brodie.e.rich@uscg.mil. Chart: 11472 CG File: 3880
           Atlantic Boulevard Bridge (AICW Mile 1056): Due to bridge repairs, the Atlantic Boulevard Bridge across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway mile 1056.0, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida is on single-leaf operations. The vertical clearance on the down span will be reduced by two feet when the work platform is in place. A double-leaf opening is available with a two-hour notice to the bridge tender. This work is expected to be completed by May 30, 2010. Vessels not requiring an opening may pass at any time.
           Miami River--I-95 Bridges (Not on the ICW): Slagter Construction has begun painting the I-95 Bridges, across the Miami River, Miami, Florida. The portion that affects the navigation channel across the Miami River will begin on February 12, 2010. This project will reduce the vertical clearance of the I-95 Bridges by three feet. The project is expected to be completed by April 16, 2010.
           Miami River—5th Street Bridge (Not on the AICW): Kiewit Construction has advised the Coast Guard that construction continues on the 5th Street Bridge across Miami River, Miami, Florida. Additional updates will be provided in the near future. Kiewit Construction will be allowed to close this bridge from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. daily starting February 15 and ending March 15, 2010. A full opening will be provided to the mariners if at least two hours advance notice is provided to the bridge tender.
           Johns Pass Bridge: Due to the construction of the new Johns Pass Bridge, the Pass will be closed from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., Sunday through Friday until further notice. In addition to the scheduled closures the channel width is restricted to 50 feet 24-hours a day due to a construction barge. The barge requires at least a 2-hour notification to move. The contractor has requested waterway closures up to 24 hours in the near future. The Coast Guard will approve these closures on a case by case basis. Closures will be disseminated by Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

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.