The Office of Coast Survey’s ongoing response to the Francis Scott Key Bridge disaster

An image of the largest outbound vessel in the Fort McHenry Channel since the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.

On Tuesday, March 26, 2024, the 984-foot M/V DALI allided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge near Baltimore, Maryland, sending the bridge tumbling into the Patapsco River, resulting in the tragic loss of six construction workers, and triggering a local, state, and federal response. Large sections of the bridge’s structure lay across the main shipping channel into the Port of Baltimore closing the deepest shipping lane into and out of the port, and resulting in an estimated loss of $15 million in daily economic activity for the area. All shipping traffic was diverted from the area, enabling first responders to conduct high-priority rescue and recovery operations and allowing highly trained salvage crews to begin the arduous task of removing bridge wreckage. Due to the amount of debris in the water, it was evident that salvage operations would take some time, and the priority at the time was to open the port for at least some vessel traffic.

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NOAA’s 2024 hydrographic survey season is underway

An image of survey vessel operating near Pago Pago Harbor, American Samoa.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2024 hydrographic survey season is ramping up and will be in full swing before too long. For the past few months, NOAA hydrographic survey ships, navigation response teams, and contractors have been diligently preparing for the upcoming field season. The ships and survey vessels collect bathymetric data to support nautical charting, modeling, and research, but also collect other environmental data to support a variety of ecosystem sciences. NOAA considers hydrographic survey requests from stakeholders such as marine pilots, local port authorities, the Coast Guard, and the boating community, and also considers other hydrographic and NOAA science priorities in determining where to survey and when. Visit our “living” ArcGIS StoryMap to find out more about our mapping projects and if a hydrographic vessel will be in your area this year!

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