NOTICE TO MARINERS
SECTION I - SPECIAL NOTICES
This section contains information of special concern to the Mariner.
ATLANTIC OCEAN - GEORGIA - FLORIDA: North Atlantic Right Whale Mandatory Ship Reporting System (Update: April 7, 2022).
From November 15 to April 16, the area just north of Brunswick, Georgia to St. Augustine, Florida, out to approximately 25NM offshore, is designated as the WHALESSOUTH Right Whale Reporting Area. All self-propelled vessels 300 gross tons and greater, with the exception of government ships, are required to report into the Mandatory Ship Reporting System (MSR) upon entry. MSR arrival reports shall be sent to rightwhale.msr(at)noaa.gov or Telex: 48156090.
*UPDATE: The Mandatory Ship Reporting System is not currently providing automated responses specific to the reporting vessel’s transit plan. Mariners should continue following best practices for marine mammal avoidance and adhere to required speed restrictions within appropriate areas. Send inquiries to RIGHTWHALE.MSR@USCG.MIL or (757) 398-6330. Please report all right whale sightings and collisions to (877) whale- help or to the Coast Guard via channel 16. For more info, consult the U.S. Coast Pilot.
Right whales are slow moving and at risk of serious injury or death due to collisions with vessels. The critically endangered right whale, including females with young calves may be encountered in offshore and coastal waters. Vessel operators are reminded to use caution and proceed at safe speeds in areas used by right whales.
Approaching within 500 yards of right whales is prohibited and is a violation of U.S. law (50 CFR 224.103). A minimum distance of 500 yards must be maintained from a sighted whale unless avoidance is hazardous to the vessel or its occupants. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends that operators assume that any whale sighted is a right whale.
U.S. law (50 CFR 224.105) requires most vessels 65 ft or greater to travel at speeds of 10 knots or less in seasonal management areas used by right whales when consistent with safety of navigation. Explanations of times, other affected areas, and exceptions to this law can be found in the Local Notice to Mariners. Right whale sighting information can be found at: https://apps-nefsc.fisheries.noaa.gov/psb/surveys/MapperiframeWithText.html.
*new* FLORIDA - DRY TORTUGAS: Waterway Analysis and Management System review.
The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a Waterway Analysis and Management System (WAMS) review of the Dry Tortugas. The study focuses on the area’s aids to navigation, waterborne commerce, marine casualty information, port/harbor resources, emergency response plans, routing and emergency communication capabilities, and future development projects. Input regarding the waterway and aids to navigation system must be received by 01 JULY 2022. Input may be provided using the survey link below or directly to the point of contact listed.
FL/AL/GA - APALACHICOLA - CHATTAHOOCHEE AND FLINT (ACF) RIVER SYSTEM – UPDATE
Based on the 10-day forecast for releases from Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam and subsequent forecasted stage at Blountstown gage, we will continue to support a 7-foot navigation channel through Friday, May 6, 2022. Based on ACF Basin inflows and basin-wide model forecasts, the USACE will officially close the Spring 2022 Navigation Season, as per the conditions set forth in the water control manual on May 6, 2022. Anyone anticipating using the system is encouraged to monitor the flow and water levels at the following website: https://water.sam.usace.army.mil/ . Commercial mariners should schedule lockage appointments at the Jim Woodruff Lock by calling (850) 663-4692 or (229) 723-3482. George W. Andrews and Walter F. George Locks remain closed due to mechanical failures.
SECTION VII - GENERAL
This section contains information of general concern to the Mariners. Mariners are advised to use caution while transiting these areas.
*update* SOUTH CAROLINA – ATLANTIC OCEAN/ WINYAH BAY: Debordieu Colony Beach Nourishment and Dredging (Update: April 29, 2022).
Marinex Construction, Inc. is conducting dredging operations and Beach Nourishment Project with the Dredge SAVANNAH offshore of Debordieu Colony in a borrow site located at approximately 33-20-08.77N / 079-07-33.65W. Pipe and dredge equipment is staged in Winyah Bay in vicinity of Winyah Bay Channel Lighted Buoy 17 (LLNR 1980) to Winyah Bay Channel Light 19 (LLNR 1995). Dredging will continue on a 24 hours per day, 7 days per week basis until final demobilization expected by May 10, 2022. The Dredge SAVANNAH will monitor VHF radio channels 13 and 16. For further information, contact: Tyler S. Stubbs at (843) 722-9083.
*update* SOUTH CAROLINA/GEORGIA - SAVANNAH RIVER - FORT JACKSON/OGLETHORPE RANGES: Dredging Operations (Update: May 3, 2022).
Marinex Construction, Inc. dredge HAMPTON ROADS will be conducting dredging operations from the upper end of Elba Island and across from Barnwell Island. The dredge will be digging downriver on the South Carolina side of the channel in the Savannah River 2500 feet upriver of Barnwell Island Flats Lighted Buoy 50 (LLNR 4970) and 2000 feet downriver of Barnwell Island Flats Lighted Buoy 52 (LLNR 4975). The company does not anticipate dredging near any channel markers. This mobilization is scheduled to occur on May 3, 2022 with an estimated time of completion in this area expected to be May 17, 2022. Operations will continue, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week in this area. The dredge can be reached on VHF channels 13 and 16 for any concerned traffic. For further information, contact: Thomas Payne at (843) 722-9083.
GEORGIA - INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY - ST SIMONS SOUND TO TOLOMATO RIVER - CUMBERLAND RIVER/SOUND: Inshore Artificial Reef deployments.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR) intends to deploy man-made materials impacting approximately 900 square feet each within the existing permitted footprint at the Stafford Island and Mud Creek Inshore Artificial Reef sites. These Deployments were originally expected to occur between June 28 and August 28 2021, but did not occur do to logistical difficulties. Materials consist of 200 concrete piles approximately 30 feet in length divided equally between the two reefs. New deployment dates are weather dependent and subject to change, but are expected to fall between April 29 and June 29, 2022. The Stafford Island Inshore Artificial Reef site footprint (4.10 acres) is located along the southwest side of Cumberland Island near ICW marker G71 (30-49.183N/081-29.266W), and the Mud Creek Inshore Artificial Reef site footprint (2.59 acres) is located along the northwest side of Cumberland Island near ICW marker R40 (30-54.297N/081-28.121W ). For further information, contact: Cameron Brinton/GADNR Habitat Unit at (912) 2806926 or Cameron.Brinton@dnr.ga.gov
*new* FLORIDA - INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY - TOLOMATO RIVER TO PALM SHORES – SKYES CREEK: Construction and Dredging.
Gator Dredging will commence mobilization and construction activities north of the E Merritt Island Causeway on May 6, 2022 to prepare for dredging operations expected to commence in July 2022. The project is expected to continue until April 1, 2023. Operations will be conducted 30 minutes after sunrise until 30 minutes before sunset Monday through Saturday. For further information, contact: Charlie Gertz at (727) 902-6055.
*update* FLORIDA - INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY - PALM SHORES TO WEST PALM BEACH - LOXAHATCHEE RIVER: Maintenance Dredging (Update: April 28, 2022).
Ahtna Marine and Construction Company will be dredging material from the western end of the Loxahatchee River’s Main Channel and pumping the material to the dredged material management area (DMMA) located on the JID property at 400 North Delaware Boulevard, Jupiter, FL 33458. Dredging operations are expected to begin on or around February 2022 and is expected to be complete no later than the end of May 2022. Pipeline will be marked with flashing lights at night. Boaters are urged to maintain safe distance from the dredge and pipeline to avoid potential interference with the dredging operations. Mariners are urged to transit at their slowest safe speed to minimize wake and proceed with caution after arrangements have been made with the dredge and barges on VHF Channels 16 or 79. For further information, contact: Anthony Cavo, General Manager at (954) 568-0007.
*update* FLORIDA - MIAMI TO MARATHON AND FLORIDA – CAESAR CREEK – ADAMS KEY: Construction and Demolition project (Update: May 2, 2022).
Continental Heavy Civil Corp will be continuing construction work within Biscayne National Park at Adams Key through the month of May 2022. The remainder of the work will include installation of timber pile at the Seaplane Ramp, and reinstallation of a new concrete dock. A crane barge will remain near the work site for the full duration of the project, but the channel will be clear for Maritime traffic. For further information contact: CHC Office (786) 250-5851 or www.chcivil.com
FLORIDA – INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY - TAMPA BAY TO PORT RICHEY - ST. JOSEPH SOUND: Shoaling/Temporary ATON changes (Update: May 25, 2021).
The Coast Guard has received the report of severe shoaling encroaching on the navigable channel in the St. Josephs Sound between Three Rooker Island and St. Joseph Sound Daybeacon 36 (LLNR 62265). Depths in this location have been reported anywhere from 2-5 feet. Mariners transiting the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in the vicinity of Three Rooker Island should proceed with caution. St Joseph Sound Daybeacon 36 (LLNR 62265) has been temporarily changed to divert traffic around encroaching shoal. The beacon has been changed to St Joseph Sound Daybeacon 35A and the red triangle dayboard has been changed to a green square.