Proceedings Of The Marine

FALL 2015

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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19 Fall 2015 Proceedings For example, the COTP can establish limited access areas aimed at specifc vessels, facilities, or waterways. The cap- tain of the port can also authorize a safety zone to which access is limited to only those the COTP authorizes, such as a fxed zone or a moving zone around a vessel. However, cap- tain of the port authority is not limited to imposing access environmental incidents within the marine transportation system. So what does this mean for Coast Guard waterway managers? Evaluating Use and Risk Fortunately, Coast Guard personnel can rely on several tools to determine how to keep waterways as safe and effcient as possible, including the ports and waterways safety assess- ment (PAWSA), the waterway analysis and management sys- tem study (WAMS), and the port access route study (PARS). 3 The ports and waterways safety assessment (PAWSA): The Coast Guard established the PAWSA process to address waterway user needs and to place a greater emphasis on industry partnerships. The process involves convening a group of waterway users and stakeholders and conducting a structured workshop to elicit their opinions and recom- mendations. This input then enables the Coast Guard to identify needs such as: • establishing or relocating aids to navigation, • adjusting vessel traffc service reporting requirements, • implementing regulatory changes. The waterway analysis and management study (WAMS): Thousands of buoys and beacons on our waterways provide signals to maritime transportation system users. A WAMS study helps Coast Guard waterway managers review and improve a particular waterway's aids to navigation system. Managers evaluate the aids to determine their effectiveness, which can lead to altering the technical aspects of an aid, establishing new aids, or removing ineffective aids. Like the PAWSA, this study incorporates the perspectives of expert and/or frequent waterway users to identify the most effec- tive aid mix while anticipating future demands on a par- ticular waterway. The port access route study (PARS): To manage the vessel traffc in and out of our nation's ports, Coast Guard water- way managers may designate or adjust fairways and create traffc separation schemes. Through the PARS, Coast Guard managers again consult with a broad array of waterway users and stakeholders to determine present and potential traffc densities, evaluate existing vessel routing measures, and determine if new routing measures are warranted. Control Measures While Coast Guard waterway managers typically confer with stakeholders to inform waterway management deci- sions, they may act autonomously. Should the need arise, the Coast Guard captain of the port (COTP) has the author- ity to impose requirements on vessels, persons, facilities, or waterways to address specifc safety, security, or environ- mental concerns. Harbor Safety Committees Collaboration between the Coast Guard and local waterway users and stakeholders strengthens relationships and improves maritime safety. For example, harbor safety committees are local port coordinating organizations whose responsibilities include recommending actions to improve port or waterway safety and efciency, and are typically comprised of representatives from federal, state, and local government agencies; maritime labor and industry organizations; environmental groups; and other public interest groups. The Coast Guard has long recognized the importance of local committees to safe, efcient, and environmentally sound port operations. Harbor safety committees can and do provide valuable input to Coast Guard assessments and studies, and provide a means to address and resolve issues that afect a port, including safety and navigation, port congestion, and overall port and waterway management. The Coast Guard has many options available to address waterways management issues. Collaboration and stake- holder involvement play large roles. Regardless of the process or measure used, the goal is to ensure a safe, secure, and effcient marine transportation system.

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