U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service Lower Mississippi River Update

VTS Lower Mississippi River: 5 Day Outlook

Monday, October 30, 2023


READ THIS LINE FIRST!!!! This email provides updated information to the referenced MSIB. This 5-day outlook is the LATEST and MOST ACCURATE Information.


Location Date Time Closure or Restriction
Saltwater Barrier Sill

LMR MM 63.5-64, AHP

MSIB - 056

October 1 – until on/around November 15 24/7 One-way traffic; ships shall check in with contact pilots onboard JS CHATRY on VHF-FM 67 or 71
Harvey Lock



Daylight hours only Until further notice OPEN for navigation, Daytime Only

Slowest safe speed from passing SHIPS to minimize wake

Algiers Lock October 2 – December 1 N/A Closed to all traffic (Emergency Repairs)
Water Barge Loading MM-77 LDB October 6 thru 26 06-1800 Slow safe speed/wide berth to minimize wake
Alliance Anchorage September 23 – TBD N/A Closed to all vessels


Point Celeste Anchorage

MSIB - 034

September 25 - TBD N/A OPEN to all vessels.



The Captain of the Port New Orleans is issuing Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Safety Measures to protect persons and vessels from the potential safety hazards associated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ raising of the emergency Saltwater Barrier Sill at Lower Mississippi River Mile Marker (MM) 63.8 Above Head of Passes (AHP). The new sill is being constructed to an elevation of minus 30’ with a 620’ wide, minus 52’ cut along the Left Descending Bank (LDB) allowing for deep draft vessels to transit. The following channel restrictions will be in effect beginning on September 23 at 1200:

  • All vessels are limited to one way traffic from MM 63.3 to 64.2 AHP confined to a channel 620’ wide. The channel is marked on its corners by four white buoys with fixed white all-around lights.
    • All vessels transiting this zone shall check-in with and take direction from the Contact Pilot onboard the Cutterhead Dredge J.S. CHATRY on VHF Channels 67 or 71 at the following points:
      • Southbound Vessels – Wills Point, MM 68 AHP
      • Northbound Vessels – Poverty Point, MM 59 AHP
    • All vessels shall transit at their slowest safe speed between MM 63.0 to 65.5 AHP.
    • Alliance Anchorage is closed to all traffic.
    • The Contact Pilot is the Coast Guard’s Designated Representative.
    • These measures will remain in effect until rescinded/adjusted at a future date.

Buoy Locations: 29 42 11.2845N, 089 58 44.1128W

29 42 01.5399N, 089 58 38.3448W

29 42 15.2087N, 089 58 37.7989W

29 42 04.2639N, 089 58 31.7873W

MSIB Vol XXIII Issue 056 - VTS Safety Measure - Saltwater Barrier Sill MM 63.8 - Update 2.

Advance Notice:


Tentatively starting in December 2023, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Mat Sinking Unit (MSU) will begin revetment operations on the Lower Mississippi River. Once the schedule is confirmed, the dates will be promulgated by the U.S. Coast Guard via Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM), Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB), and/or industry-wide email.