September 28, 2016
Hello Coast Survey,
Tomorrow we will have our first all hands meeting since I arrived as director. I hope you all can make it in person or tune in.
Over the past few weeks, I have been meeting intensively with the division chiefs to review the roadmap, focusing in on the core challenges, risks, and opportunities of the year ahead. I am really excited about what we are planning, and I will share some thoughts at the all hands.
You can register for the webinar at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8271712114979878404.
Rear Admiral Shepard M. Smith
“Temporary non-maintained anchorage” established at entrance to Galveston Bay -
Alan Bunn, navigation manager, has been working with the Lone Star Harbor Safety Committee (LSHSC), Anchorage Sub-Committee for many years in an attempt to establish an anchorage area for shallow draft vessels in the vicinity of Bolivar Roads (entrance to Galveston Bay). Establishing an anchorage will free up room in the deep draft anchorages and significantly alleviate congestion. This will improve safety of navigation, and will have a significant cost savings for the deep draft industries that currently have to anchor offshore when the Bolivar Roads anchorages are full. Recently, a new survey request was received from the LSHSC Anchorage Sub-Committee for areas that were surveyed in 2010 by NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson and 2013 by NRT 4. Michael Davidson, Navigation Response Branch operations manager, retrieved these prior surveys from NCEI, along with the preliminary data from NRT4’s current surveys and determined how frequently the depths in the proposed anchorage area change, and to monitor the migration of large sand waves through the area. The results of this analysis were presented to the sub-committee and the areas under consideration were narrowed to one primary location. Plans were put in place to pursue a "temporary non-maintained anchorage" just inside the jetties on the south side of the channel. The efforts of all parties involved have expedited a potential solution to the long standing problem of overcrowding in the Bolivar Roads anchorages and minimized the time and resources necessary to do so. Efforts to establish a permanent, maintained anchorage will continue.
NOAA SHIP FAIRWEATHER
Remains at Vigor Shipyard in Seward, Alaska, for repairs. Final reviews of West Prince of Wales Island surveys have been completed and are nearing submission to PHB.
NOAA SHIP THOMAS JEFFERSON
NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson has concluded this year's drydock maintenance and repair period at the USCG Yard and is back in the water. Some highlights of the ship's resulting improvements include: (1) A new sonar transducer suite that includes Kongsberg EM710 and EM2040 multi-beam echosounders. Among some of the most technologically advanced in the world, these sonars will enable Thomas Jefferson to more efficiently than ever acquire high resolution bathymetric data of the sea floor for updating NOAA's nautical charts. They also enable the ship to pursue fisheries-related missions such as bottom habitat mapping, making Thomas Jefferson a more "hybrid" scientific research platform. (2) A new electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS) and radar set that meets globally-recognized electronic requirements for safe navigation, and enables more real-time comparisons between collected data and published nautical charting data. (3) Modification of the ship's fuel, ballast, potable, and waste water tank systems. Thomas Jefferson can now operate more efficiently in environmentally sensitive marine areas (such as close to shore, within bays, or around marine sanctuaries) with increased potable and waste water holding capacity.The ship's planned sailing date is October 3.
NOAA SHIP RAINIER
Continues survey operations along the north coast of Kodiak Island, Alaska.
NOAA SHIP FERDINAND HASSLER
Continues survey operations in the approaches to Wilmington, North Carolina. The ship will break operations to transit for a scheduled Charleston, South Carolina, inport the evening of Thursday Sept. 29.
Bay Hydro II
Returned to Solomons, Maryland. They will start conducting a survey in the Central Chesapeake Bay, OPR-E349-BH2-16. They are processing the data they acquired from the Hudson River project.
During August the Mobile Integrated Survey Team (MIST) System was deployed to Mobile, Alabama, to allow NRT 1 the opportunity to conduct training and testing of the MIST system to remain response ready in the event of a hurricane or storm.
Conducting a survey in the Fernandina Beach, Florida, area (northwest of Jacksonville).
On Sept. 15, NRT3 finished surveying two response surveys in the Columbia River. The first response was to verify depths and identify any obstruction in the Cottonwood Anchorage area. A vessel dragged anchor and struck something with its propeller in the vicinity of 46-03.75N, 122-53.35W while repositioning the ship. The second area was near Skamokawa, Washington. During a grounding investigation, discrepancies between charted soundings and current USACE singlebeam data were noted in the general area. The team was assigned to verify the depths. NRT3 is processing the data of these two surveys and should be submitted to PHB soon. Preliminary reports and data have been given to Navigation Manager Crescent Moegling for dissemination to constituents.
On project conducting survey ops in the approaches to Galveston, Texas, region.
Continues to survey on the Hudson River project south of Kingston, New York.
Wrapping up survey processing on the Suisan Bay, California, project.
Continues to survey and process the area Offshore of SW Pass approaching the Mississippi River in Louisiana.
Ocean Surveys, Inc.
Continues to survey and process the approaches to Atchafalaya Bay off the coast of Louisiana.
Continues to survey and process in the area of Penobscot Bay off the coast of Camden, Maine.
David Evans and Associates
Continues to survey and process in the area of Breton and Chandeleur sounds off the coast of Louisiana and Mississippi.
Continues to process the surveys in the area of Sabine, Louisiana.
On Friday, September 9, there was an electrical arcing event on the M2 level of the parking garage under SSMC3 in Silver Spring. This caused fluctuating power outages, and eventually, a full building power outage that continued through that weekend. As this was a sudden event, Coast Survey IT was unable to shut down servers until the following morning, when building access was granted on Saturday, September 10. Luckily, no hardware was damaged by running overnight while the air conditioning was off. Coast Survey IT took this unplanned outage as an opportunity to test portions of our disaster recovery process. The failover to Seattle (of a portion of our infrastructure) worked well, as did restoral back to Silver Spring, with a small number of issues. Coast Survey IT will continue to refine the process based on observations made, and was a silver lining to an unfortunate situation.
Additional issues were discovered by PEPCO Thursday, September 15, resulting in the need to shut down the building and IT services again. This time, Coast Survey IT had time to perform an orderly shutdown that lasted until the next morning, Friday, September 16. Disaster recovery was not activated, however, the team received great support from MCD and CSDL application staff to test their processes once servers were restored on September 16. Coast Survey is resilient, demonstrated by our dedication to keeping mission going, especially when facing situations out of our control. Kudos to the team for their efforts: Anthony Johnson, Tim MacLaughlin, Thanh Pham, Kue-Teh Lin, Jingkang Huang, Stephan Bren, Jose Rivera, Joe Courange, Philip Fernandez, Stephen Gallaher, Mary Atwood, Mei-Ling Freeman, Mark Higgins, Brian Martinez, Sean Legeer, Lance Roddy, Kenny Odell, and Neeraj Saraf.
9/29 - Coast Survey All Hands 1 p.m.- 3 p.m. ET (Note change of location - NOAA Auditorium). Register for the webinar if you can't attend in person.
10/1 - Happy New Year! FY17 begins.
10/3 - Arctic Regional Hydrographic Commission (ARHC) meeting. The ARHC, which also includes Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the Russian Federation, provides a forum for better collaboration to ensure safety of life at sea, protect the increasingly fragile Arctic ecosystem, and support the maritime economy.
10/6-10/16 - Annapolis Boat Shows. It is that time of year again! We are asking for volunteers who are interested in working at the boat shows and sharing their expertise with the public. The boat shows are October 6-10 (Sailboat) and October 13-16 (Powerboat). If interested in volunteering, sign up on the sheet located outside Matt Kroll’s office (6350).