VTS Lower Mississippi River: 5 Day Outlook Tuesday, November 22, 2023

READ THIS LINE FIRST!!!! The below table provides updated information to the referenced MSIB or other operation impacting navigation. This outlook is the LATEST and MOST ACCURATE Information. Latest updates are in red text.


Subscribe to the VTS LMR 5-day outlook email herehttps://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDHSCG/subscriber/new Subscribers should enter their preferred email, then ensure “VTS LMR” is selected under ‘Mariners Tab’ and submit.

Location Date Time Closure or Restriction
Water Barge Distribution

MM 49.2

MSIB - 058

October 6 - TBD 24/7 Slow safe speed/wide berth to minimize wake
Saltwater Barrier Sill

MM 63.5-64

MSIB - 056

Until further notice 24/7 One-way traffic; ships shall check in with contact pilots onboard M/V CANDICE on VHF-FM 67 or 71

See updated Alliance Anchorage info below

Bank Stabilization Stone Placement

MM 84.3, LDB (Poydras)

MSIB - 060

November 17 – December 22 0700–1900 One way traffic at slowest safe speed when passing work site. If further assistance is needed, vessels can contact New Orleans VTS on VHF CH. 12 or the on-scene vessels M/V KACIE LUHR and M/V MEGAN DAWN on VHF CH 13, 16, or 72.
Bank Grading Operations

MM 149.5 RDB

November 28 – December 6 0800 – 1600 One-way traffic at slowest safe speed. Barge will stick out 500’ from the RDB. On Scene vessel M/V HARVEY SBISA who on VHF 05A, 16, & 67.
College Town Light

MM 225-228.3

MSIB - 041

Until further notice 24/7 All towing vessels in vicinity of College Town Light (MM 225 to MM228.3) are reminded and advised to keep flat on the bank and provide a wide berth to deep-draft traffic.
Alliance Anchorage

MSIB - 056

Until further notice N/A Northern 5,800’ of anchorage is open. Vessels must notify Contact Pilot onboard M/V CANDICE on VHF-FM 67 or 71 to deconflict with Saltwater Sill operations.
Point Celeste Anchorage

MSIB - 034

Until further notice N/A Northern 3,750’ of anchorage is open. Vessels must notify M/V JS CHATRY on VHF-FM 67 or 71 to deconflict with dredging operations.
Harvey Lock 

USACE Nav Bulletin No. 23-129

Until further notice Open during daylight hours OPEN for navigation during daylight hours. Please contact lockmaster to arrange nighttime passage.

Slowest safe speed from passing SHIPS to minimize wake

Algiers Lock

USACE Nav Bulletin NO. 20-197

October 2 – December 1 N/A Closed to all traffic (Emergency Repairs)
Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) Lock

USACE Nav Bulletin No. 23-141

November 27 – November 28 Nov 27: 1000 – 1500

Nov 28: 0700-1700

Closed to navigation for divers to repair the miter gate grease system. Please contact the Lockmaster, Richard McKinzie, at 504-945-2157.


MSIB 062: – Oil Discharge – Gulf of Mexico in the vicinity of South Pass, LA (Update 1)

MSIB 061 has been updated. Sector New Orleans continues coordinating response operations to the discharge of oil at approximate position 29o 17.3’ N, 088o 43.0’ W near Outer Continental Shelf Lease Block Main Pass 143 which is approximately 20 NM east of the entrance to Pass A Loutre.

On November 18, 2023 oil sheen was observed immediately West of Southwest Pass and is projected to continue offshore following a line South, Southwest. Active on-water vessel oil recovery and skimming operations are taking place 24 hours per day. Transiting vessels should maintain lookouts for oil spill recovery vessels operating in the area.

There are currently no navigation restrictions for vessels entering or exiting the LMR or offshore. Vessels should conduct proper route assessment and coordinate closely with their agent and attending pilot association for additional guidance. Vessels calling on the Lower Mississippi River or Port Fourchon should monitor for and report any contamination of their hulls to Sector New Orleans Command Center at (504) 365-2545.

A claims phone line has been established at (228) 273-2400.  This situation remains dynamic, and changes should be expected as further assessment and oil spill recovery operations develop. 

MSIB 060: Mississippi River – Bank Stabilization Stone Placement

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’ bank stabilization & stone placement work at the locations listed below. Construction efforts will involve multiple vessels and barges with anchors deployed encroaching into the navigation channel. The below dates and restrictions may vary based on operations. Daily updates to the schedule and restrictions will be messaged via the Vessel Traffic Service 5-day outlook email.

All interested navigation stakeholders are highly encouraged to subscribe to the VTS 5-day outlook email here: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDHSCG/subscriber/new.  Subscribers should enter their preferred email, then ensure “VTS LMR” is selected under ‘Mariners Tab’ and submit.

Location Mile Marker / Bank Date / Time Restrictions
Poydras 84.2 / LDB Nov 16–Dec 15 / 0700–1900 Slow bell, One-way
Neptune 23.5 / LDB Dec 15–Jan 15 / 0700–1900 Slow bell

All vessels shall transit at their slowest safe speed when passing the work site. The on-scene vessels M/V KACIE LUHR and M/V MEGAN DAWN can be contacted by concerned traffic on VHF Channel 13, 16, and 72.

MSIB 058: Mississippi River Saltwater Intrusion

Mariners are advised to operate with caution in the vicinity of the locations listed below until further notice. The USCG will provide updates of locations with active mitigation efforts via industry wide email.

It is recommended that vessel operators working in support of mitigation efforts at or near these locations maintain a proper lookout and notify passing traffic when precautions, such as transiting at slowest safe speed may be needed. Communications should be made on VHF Channel 12 with VHF Channel 67 as a backup. If immediate assistance is needed, operators should contact the Lower Mississippi River Vessel Traffic Service.

Location River MM (AHP) & Bank
Port Sulfur 49.2 RDB
Pointe A La Hache 49.7 LDB
Belle Chasse 75.5 RDB
Dalcour 80.9 LDB
St. Bernard 88.0 LDB
New Orleans Algiers 95.7 RDB
Gretna 96.7 RDB
West Jefferson 99.1 RDB
New Orleans Carrollton 104.7 LDB
East Jefferson 105.4 LDB


MSIB 056: VTS Safety Measure - Saltwater Barrier Sill MM 63.8 (Update 2)


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


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.