The Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean (MACO) will host a public webinar on Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. that features discussion from U.S. Coast Guard representatives about port access and navigation safety studies that the agency is leading along the Atlantic Coast as offshore wind development proceeds. The free session will also include a panel discussion with representatives of the port, maritime ind offshore wind industries.
The Coast Guard is currently conducting four Port Access Route Studies (PARS) for areas including the Northern New York Bight, the New Jersey coast and Delaware Bay approaches, the Chesapeake Bay approaches, and the North Carolina coast. The purpose of the studies is to evaluate the adequacy of existing vessel routing measures and determine whether changes are necessary in these areas due to factors such as offshore wind development, current port capabilities and anticipated improvements, increased vessel traffic, existing and potential anchorage areas, effects of weather and navigational difficulty. The Coast Guard is also evaluating a potential system of fairways intended to ensure that traditional navigation routes along the East Coast are kept free from obstructions that could impact navigation safety.
The webinar will begin with presentations on the studies by George Detweiler, Michele DesAutels and Capt. Maureen Kallgren of the U.S. Coast Guard. Nick Napoli and Karl Vilacoba of the MARCO Data Portal team will demonstrate interactive maps showing the study areas online. Afterward, a panel of industry stakeholders including Will Fediw of the Virginia Maritime Association, Stuart Griffin of the Pilots’ Association for the Bay and River Delaware, Jeff Kaelin of Lund’s Fisheries, and Tom Vinson of the American Wind Energy Association will provide perspectives on navigation safety. The panel will be moderated by Tony MacDonald of the Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute. Members of the audience will be welcome to take part in an open Q&A session with the speakers.