Proceedings Of The Marine

SUM 2016

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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Page 47 of 78

45 Summer 2016 Proceedings These tugs and barges need places to hold up as they wait for their turn to lock through. MTS Demands So if the river can't get any bigger, how do you accommodate greater demands? The main problem is that the separate needs for anchorages, waterfront access, protection of the levee systems, and safe navigation can be at odds with one another. A landowner may seek to establish a waterfront facility that may impede traffic or remove a spot on the river where tow traffic was previously able to hold up. An anchorage may prohibit or restrict a landowner from building a waterfront facility. A difficult turn in the river may require additional naviga- tional room close to the bank right where a fleeting area is proposed. So how do people come together and put aside competing demands to ensure a healthy marine transportation system? Currently, individual entities apply for U.S. Army Corps of Engineering permits to construct or build something in the river. Traditionally these projects seek to help the individual or organization requesting approval, and the request will impact how the river operates. While it may help the indi- vidual, it may not help the overall efficiency of the river. Therefore, it's important to balance the effects of any change and ensure that the entire marine transportation system is evaluated. For example, if someone is seeking to expand dock space for more deep draft vessels, it's important to assess how the expansion will impact the navigation of traffic through the area. In addition, granting such expansion will increase vessel traffic in the river system, potentially requiring more anchorage space as well as vessel services such as bunkering and stores, which also have a footprint on the river. Various people have discussed increasing the depth of the Mississippi River to bring larger vessels into port. While dredging the river would enable deeper vessels to come in, the fixed width of the river would still limit the total amount of traffic it could accommodate. Thus, it is critical that port partners as well as state and federal agencies work together to manage ports to ensure they grow in a man- ner that can benefit and be effective for all. If such growth goes unplanned, it may degrade the ports' overall capability, leaving vessels to find another place to go. About the author: CDR Brian Khey has served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 17 years — 13 of them as a marine safety professional. CDR Khey currently manages one of the largest prevention departments in the Coast Guard at Sector New Orleans. Endnote: 1. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, "Tonnage of Top 50 U.S. Water Ports, Ranked by Total Tons," found at tions/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_57.html. New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by pisaphotography /

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