The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(HONOLULU) — The Coast Guard is scheduled to temporarily move aids to navigation in four of the main Hawaiian Islands commercial harbors to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with planned dredging operations beginning this week.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hopper dredge Essayons will conduct maintenance dredging in March and April starting in Nawiliwili this week, and then at Kalaeloa (Barbers Point), Hilo, Kahului, and Honolulu harbors. Mariners should not rely on the aids to navigation that are relocated.
Mariners entering or departing Nawiliwili Harbor during this time period are encouraged to contact the Essayons to determine the location of dredging operations and coordinate passing arrangements. Mariners should transit at their slowest safe speed to minimize wake when in the vicinity of the dredge and proceed with caution after passing arrangements have been made.
All waterway users should transit with caution when in the vicinity of the dredging vessel and operate at a safe speed when the potential for hazards such as dredging components are present. During operations near Barbers Point no aids will need to be moved but mariners should exercise caution around dredging operations.
Coast Guard Regional Dive Locker Pacific with assistance from Coast Guard Station Kauai and a boat crew from USCGC Walnut (WLB 205) will relocate or temporarily disestablish the following buoys starting Friday and they will remain off station until approximately March 22. These dates may vary due to unforeseen on-site conditions, weather and other factors.
• Nawiliwili Harbor buoy 1 (LLNR 29775) relocated in approximate position 21-57-14.80N/ 159-20-51.30W in 40 feet of water.
• Nawiliwili Harbor buoy 5 (LLNR 29784) disestablished.
• Nawiliwili Harbor lighted buoy 6 (LLNR 29785) disestablished.
• Nawiliwili Harbor lighted buoy 7 (LLNR 29790) disestablished.
• Nawiliwili Harbor buoy 9 (LLNR 29793) disestablished.
• Nawiliwili Harbor buoy 11 (LLNR 29795) disestablished.
The disestablished buoys may be relocated in shoal water and should not be used for navigation.
General safety information regarding operating in the vicinity of dredging vessels can be found in Coast Guard Marine Safety Alert 14-15. This safety alert and other information about the 2016 Maintenance Dredge Project can be found on the Sector Honolulu home port website www.homeport.uscg.mil/Honolulu under the Waterways Management page and Hawaii Commercial Harbor 2016 Maintenance Dredging tab.
Hawaii is a maritime state over 2,400 miles from the mainland and far more dependent on its harbors than most of the United States. The Hawaii state DOT claims that over 80 percent of all consumer goods — food, clothing, autos, building supplies, machinery, paper, and allied products, medical supplies, and agricultural materials — are imported into the state. Of that 80 percent, approximately 98 percent enters Hawaii though commercial harbors on the major islands.
To ensure that these vital goods continue to arrive safely in Hawaii, the Essayons crew will dredge approximately 290,000 cubic yards from the five key harbors. The dredge material will be safely disposed of at EPA-designated ocean disposal sites.
For questions about the dredging operations specifically, contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District Public Affairs office at CEPOH-PA@usace.army.mil or (808) 835-4004.