Coast Survey team integrates various sensors to survey for Harborfest and practice for hurricane response.
As ports on the East Coast prepare for this summer's War of 1812 Bicentennial events, NOAA Coast Survey is bolstering confidence in safe navigation for the Navy vessels, tall ships, and recreational viewers' boats during the crowded festivities.
Last week, Coast Survey hydrographers displayed their versatility and creativity in adapting "on-hand" resources as they surveyed in advance of Boston Harborfest 2012. A small survey team integrated various hydrographic survey sensors aboard a Massachusetts State Police boat, to confirm and update water depth measurements in the port. The updated data gives the U.S. Coast Guard crucial information for decision-making, prior to and during Harborfest.
Last year, NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson surveyed the Norfolk Inner Harbor in anticipation of increased navigation safety needs during Norfolk’s June celebration.
The Coast Survey team also used the Boston Harbor operation as an opportunity to train the Mobile Integrated Survey Team (MIST), in preparation for the upcoming 2012 hurricane season. MIST systems, installed and used by experienced NOAA hydrographic scientists, use portable sensors that are readily deployed on vessels of opportunity when other NOAA survey assets are not immediately available.
Coast Survey may deploy several levels of NOAA survey assets – major NOAA ships, Coast Survey’s research vessel Bay Hydro II, small boats with 2- or 3-person response teams, survey companies under contract with NOAA, and the MIST – after hurricanes and other emergencies, to search for shoaling or underwater debris that pose a danger to navigation. The survey response speeds the safe resumption of ocean-going commerce along the nation’s 95,000-mile coastline.
(NOTE: NOAA’s special FREE commemorative poster for Boston Harborfest 2012 is available as a pdf at nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/WarOf1812. Free nautical “BookletCharts” will be ready in June.)
May 18, 2012