Coast Guard moving Maui navigation buoys to assist dredging


The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(HONOLULU) — The Coast Guard will begin temporarily moving aids to navigation in Kahului Harbor, Maui, on Wednesday to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with planned dredging operations.

As previously released, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hopper dredge Essayons will conduct maintenance dredging in March and April starting in Nawiliwili, 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 Kahului Harbor during this time period are encouraged to contact 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. 

The following buoys will be temporarily relocated starting April 6 through April 27. These dates may vary due to unforeseen on-site conditions, weather and other factors (see graphic):

• Kahului Harbor lighted buoy 6 (LLNR 28365) relocated in approximate position 20-53- 48.44N/ 156-28-31.23W in 10 feet of water.
• Kahului Harbor lighted buoy 8 (LLNR 28370) relocated in approximate position 20-53- 37.36N/ 156-28-25.21W in 18 feet of water.
• Kahului Harbor buoy 10 (LLNR 28375) relocated in approximate position 20-53-33.59N/ 156-28-20.58W in 12 feet of water.

Again, the relocated buoys may be 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 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 or (808) 835-4004.

By Professional Mariner Staff