Coast Guard seeks mariner input for Western rivers study

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

(WASHINGTON) — The United States Coast Guard is seeking input for a study of navigation requirements for the entire Western Rivers System.

The Coast Guard Waterways Analysis and Management System (WAMS) study will review the Western Rivers Aids to Navigation (ATON) System.

The ATON system on the Western rivers differs from the U.S. Coastal ATON System due to the unstable nature of the river and channels. The Coast Guard operates this system on the Mississippi River from Upper Mississippi River Mile 857 to Lower Mississippi River Mile 155 and on its tributaries.

The system also includes the following rivers and waterways:

Port Allen-Morgan City Alternate Route (Louisiana)
That part of the Atchafalaya River above its junction with the Port Allen-Morgan City Alternate Route including the Old River and the New River.
The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (Mississippi)
Tombigbee River ((Mississippi-Alabama)
Black Warrior River (Alabama)
Alabama River
Coosa River (Alabama)
Mobile River above Cochrane Bridge at St. Louis Point
Flint River
Chattahoochee River
Apalachicola River above its confluence with the Jackson River

Interested mariners and maritime stakeholders can provide input at:

The survey will be available until July 1.

In addition to reviewing input from the survey, the WAMS study will analyze cargo data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterborne Statistics Center. Automatic identification system (AIS) marine traffic data will also be analyzed and compared with environmental conditions, such as ice and water levels.

The Western rivers study is the third of a series of U.S. Coast Guard navigation systems reviews. The first study identified requirements for the Atlantic and Gulf seacoast and the second study is reviewing navigation requirements for the Pacific seacoast and islands.

Through these systemwide navigation studies, the Coast Guard is reviewing its nationwide policy on the use of ATON and delivery of marine safety information to promote the safety of future maritime transportation and commerce on U.S. navigable waters.

By Professional Mariner Staff