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  • October 21, 2015 11:16 AM | Anonymous

    Article Taken from CPRA

    Today the CPRA made a recommendation to advance both the Mid Barataria (75,000 cfs) and Mid Breton (35,000 cfs) sediment diversions to engineering and design. This recommendation is based, in part, on recent results of a suite of diversion studies initiated in late 2013, in response to concerns raised by various stakeholder groups. The announcement comes several months in advance of a formal request for the additional funds needed for engineering and design. The funding request will be included in the CPRA’s Annual Plan, which will go before the CPRA Board and the Louisiana Legislature in early 2016.

    “Decades of studies have suggested the importance of diversions,” said CPRA Board Chairman Chip Kline. “The analysis conducted as part of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan further indicated that sediment diversions are essential to sustaining coastal Louisiana. With predictable funding becoming available as a result of the oil spill settlement, we have the opportunity to invest in systemic restoration tools like diversions, which mimic natural processes by reconnecting the river to the delta. In doing so, we anticipate extending the longevity of many of the more substantial marsh creation projects called for in the master plan. As we transition to these larger projects, the Board recognizes that this work will become increasingly more difficult. That is exactly why we approved the request for funds to conduct these studies and why we continue to utilize this forum to engage resource agencies, stakeholder groups and members of the public in these difficult but necessary discussions.”

    In late 2013 the CPRA Board approved the use of approximately $13 million to advance a suite of studies related to the lower Mississippi River sediment diversions proposed in the 2012 Coastal Master Plan. The goal of those studies was two-fold: to address concerns raised by various stakeholders and to allow the CPRA to better understand benefits and limitations of the proposed projects.  The funds utilized to conduct the studies were made available through criminal settlements associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  The settlements included approximately $1.27 billion to be directed to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) specifically dedicated for barrier island and diversion projects in Louisiana.

    “As these studies have matured and the results are coming in, we’re continuing to have confidence in the ability of sediment diversions to maximize our use of riverine resources to create a more sustainable footprint for coastal Louisiana,” said CPRA Executive Director Kyle Graham. “It became evident through our preliminary analysis that the Mid Barataria and Mid Breton diversions should be prioritized to advance into engineering and design. While this recommendation is a very important step we still have much work to do prior to implementation. We anticipate the engineering and design work will take several years. During that time we will further refine our analysis, develop an operational regime and continue to engage the public as we progress through the design and permitting process.”

    The studies utilized some of the most advanced modeling tools available, such as Delft 3-D, CASM and EwE to predict changes that could potentially occur as a result of implementing sediment diversions. A complementary effort using outputs from these models is underway to investigate and understand potential socioeconomic impacts. In evaluating the modeling results, the CPRA is considering a number of factors including the projects’ ability to build or maintain land, effects on the river, changes in water levels, changes to salinity, habitat diversity and quality, abundance and distribution of fisheries and economic trends. In addition to analyzing modeling results, the CPRA is also considering project costs, funding availability and continued feedback from stakeholders.

    Throughout the next several months, the CPRA will conduct approximately 20 key briefings to discuss these results in further detail with various stakeholder groups. 

  • October 19, 2015 10:19 AM | Anonymous

    Article taken from NOLA.com - Caminada Headlands beach, dune and marsh creation projects

    Weeks Marine dredging company is rebuilding the beach and sand dunes along the Caminada Headlands in Jefferson and Lafourche parishes with sand mined from Ship Shoal, about 35 miles off the coast. The project is one of the first financed by money paid by BP and Transocean to settle legal issues the BP oil spill. The sand is barged to just offshore of the beach, and then pumped through this 36-inch pipe to the shoreline. The bulldozers help shape the beach and dunes before the pipe is moved to build another segment of beach. Note that in the far background, between the pipe and the moving bulldozers, a coyote is walking in the water along the beach.

    Thousands of pounds of sand from the Gulf of Mexico spewed from a pipe Wednesday (Oct. 14) onto the re-growing beach and dunes that makes up the Caminada Headlands, the southernmost edge of Jefferson and Lafourche parishes that protects both rich wetlands just to its north and the nationally important Port Fourchon, jumping off point for deepwater drilling.

    Viewing the rebuilding by a team of 80 employees of Weeks Marine, a dredging firm based in Covington, were representatives of five federal agencies and the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority who were on the Elmer's Island segment of the Caminada beachfront to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act.

    The project under way Thursday is actually funded by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, with the money coming from the $2.5 billion provided the foundation as part of 2013 settlements of civil and criminal charges facing BP and Transocean, the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon drillship that was at the center of the BP Macondo well blowout and oil spill in 2010.

    But CWPPRA, often referred to as the Breaux Act for one of its original sponsors, former U.S. Sen. John Breaux, D-La., is funding the next two phases of the project, the recreation of a marsh platform on the northern side of the beach and dunes.

    The first segment of the Caminada Headlands restoration was funded by the state with offshore oil revenue the state received from the federal Coastal Impact Assistance Program and state surplus funds.

    The two beach and dune projects represent an investment of more than $200 million. When completed, the 70,000-foot-long by 400-foot-wide combination of dunes and beach will have been rebuilt to as high as 7 feet above sea level with 8.41 million cubic yards of sand mined from Ship Shoal, an ancient barrier island 35 miles south and 30 feet deep.

    The CWPPRA project will add about 430 acres of marsh platform for about $31 million. Under the CWPPRA program, the federal government will pay 85 percent of the cost and the state will pay the remaining 15 percent.

    The CWPPRA program was proposed by Breaux and former U.S. Sen. J. Bennett Johnston, D-La., and adopted by Congress in 1990.

    At the time, it was designed to test the ability of Louisiana officials to rebuild wetlands along the state's coastline by funding small projects, each sponsored by one of five federal agencies: Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Interior's U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources and Conservation Service, the Department of Commerce's National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

    Funding for the program began at about $30 million a year and now totals over $80 million, with the federal share of the money coming from a variety of small engine fuel taxes. The present version of the law expires in 2019.

    Check out a list of all CWPPRA projects.

    Over the years, the program's task force, made up of representatives of the federal agencies and the state, have agreed to coordinate its projects with the state's coastal Master Plan, first passed in 2007, and updated in 2012.

    "Since 1990, we've undertaken more than $1.5 billion in ecosystem work, and that consistent funding has allowed us not only to build, but also to maintain and monitor these projects over their 20-year life," said Col. Richard Hansen, commander of the Corps' New Orleans District office.  "And that allows us to collect those lessons learned that are now being incorporated into subsequent projects that we're designing and building now."

    CWPPRA was the first long-term program aimed at turning back the effects of coastal erosion in Louisiana, and set the stage for the variety of funding sources the state now has available for restoration projects, said Chip Kline, chairman of the state's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

    "Until the early 1930s, Louisiana was growing at an average rate of 3/4 of a square mile per year," Kline said. "On that trajectory, we should be 60 square miles larger today than we were in 1930.

    "Instead we are about 1,900 square miles smaller. The decline in our wetlands was predictably slow at first, but accelerated in the 1940s, '60s, '70s and '80s," Kline said. "Our warnings and pleas for help fell on deaf ears," until Breaux pushed legislation through Congress setting up the program.

    The law also required federal and state officials to begin the process of developing a coastal restoration plan, leading first to the development of the state's Coast 2050 plan in 1998.

    The state adopted a formal coastal master plan in 2007, with the goal of appending it to a corps report required by Congress that was to propose potential projects aimed at protecting the state's coastal communities from "the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane."

    Since then, the state has adopted annual plans for implementing its master plan that include projects funded under CWPPRA, as well as other federal and state funding streams.

    "Since 1990, the CWPPRA program alone has restored over 112,000 acres of land and protected 350,000 acres of land," Kline said. And for many years, CWPPRA was the only funding source for restoration projects, he said.

    But while today the state also expects to finance even larger restoration projects with money from various BP oil spill settlements or fines, and from a greater share of offshore oil revenue the state expects to begin receiving in 2017, Kline said Congress needs to reauthorize CWPPRA before it expires in 2019.

    "Louisiana can't do this alone and the CWPPRA program can't do this alone, nor should we have to," Kline said. "Louisiana's coast is America's coast, uniquely important to this nation. And only through cooperation and teamwork can we save this vitally important part of this country."

  • October 14, 2015 2:24 PM | Anonymous
    Congratulations to Team Aqua Tech for taking 1st place, and Team NEI-1 for taking second place. Also congrats to Alan Craig of SES for high score and Kathy Knight of NXT for worst bowler. A big thank you to everybody who came out. Next up UTEC the winners of the Houston Chapter Bowling Social, if they are not too scared to accept the challeng.
  • June 21, 2015 11:55 AM | Anonymous

    The theme for World Hydrography Day 2015 (WHD-2015) is: ‘Our seas and waterways - yet to be fully charted and explored’. A reception celebrating WHD-2015 will take place on board the Japan Coast Guard training vessel Kojima, in Port Hercule, Monaco, at 18:00 on 30 June 2015. The Hydrographers of Member States or their representatives are invited to this reception. 

    The theme for World Hydrography Day 2015 concentrates on the fact that much of the world’s seas, oceans and navigable waters remain unsurveyed and is intended to raise public awareness that, for example, there are higher resolution maps of the Moon and Mars than for many parts of our seas and coastal waters.

    This year’s theme also provides the opportunity to encourage innovative supplementary data gathering initiatives to help obtain more useful depth data. This includes crowd-sourcing using existing ships and ship’s equipment, and developments in the analysis of satellite imagery in areas where the water is clear enough. These methods cannot replace highly accurate and thorough hydrographic surveys using specialist ships and equipment, but they can provide useful depth information where otherwise there is none available.

  • June 01, 2015 11:56 AM | Anonymous
    The goal of the THSOA-Southeast Chapter Education Sub-committee is to target high school students to make them aware of hydrography and related fields as a viable career path.  We will foster an interest in the science and technology in the hydrographic science industry to help create the workforce of tomorrow we will need.  We do not intend to promote any company or academic institution, but rather to promote our work to high school age students to show that there are exciting career paths in this field. To see a list of the members, please visit the Contact Us section of the site by clicking here.
  • May 25, 2015 11:59 AM | Anonymous

    THSOA - Southeast Chapter serves as the focal point for hydrographic activities in the Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida areas. The Board would like to invite members and non-members to attend our monthly meetings to learn more about the organization, meet other professionals, and gain further knowledge on the subject of hydrography. With technical presentations given at most monthly meetings, one can learn more about the industry, equipment and application updates, as well as news in the industry.

    FLORIDA ADDED TO THE AREA SERVED BY THSOA_SOUTHEAST CHAPTER (Formerly LA Chapter) The THSOA - Southeast Chapter is excited to announce an expansion in the area that we serve as the focal point for hydrographic activities. The state of Florida along with Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama is now represented by one chapter. To better reflect the areas we cover we are also changing our name to THSOA-Southeast Chapter (LA, MS, AL, FL). Our new email address is THSOA_southeastchapter@yahoo.com

  • April 01, 2015 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    The Southeast Chapter is offering new sponsorship opportunities this year for our meetings and events.

    Yearly Sponsorship (Meetings and Events); Your Company logo on all meeting/event banners, promotional literature and recognized as a sponsor at the meeting/event. Also your company logo on Southeast Chapter website)

    • Ruby – $1500.00 (Three free tickets per event)
    • Emerald – $1300.00 (Two free tickets per event)
    • Diamond – $1100.00 (One free ticket per event)


    Individual Sponsorship (Per Event); Your Company logo on meeting/event banner, promotional literature and recognized as a sponsor at the event

    • Gold - $600 (Two free tickets for event)
    • Silver - $500 (One free ticket for event)
    • Bronze - $400

    Website Sponsorship

    • $1000 per year. Company logo and link to your website placed on the Southeast Chapter’s Website

    For more information please contact the Southeast Chapter at thsoa_southeastchapter@yahoo.com All money raised through sponsorships goes directly to the THSOA-Southeast Chapter scholarship fund.

  • March 04, 2015 12:03 PM | Anonymous

    This is a very good read - especially if you live along the southeast Louisiana gulf coast. We live in a very unique and dynamic place. - It's always been in motion and changing - and this will never stop. It's residences throughout time have been challenge to adapting to the new realities of living in such special part of the world. (As said by Kenny Smith - President T.Baker Smith)

    The full article can be viewed at the following link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/28/louisiana-sea-level-rise_n_5731916.html

  • February 26, 2015 12:04 PM | Anonymous

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has published its latest edition of EM 1110-2-1003, Hydrographic Surveying.

    Click here to download the file.

    For a complete list of documents, save this link in your favorites.

  • February 04, 2015 12:05 PM | Anonymous

    Soon the U.S. Coast Guard will begin testing virtual Aids to Navigation (ATONs). Unlike physical aids to navigation, such as buoys or lighthouses, information from the new Automated Identification System ATONs will be broadcasted over the air. In preparation for this impending change, Coast Survey has developed a new set of symbols to depict these virtual navigation aids which will be added to upcoming editions of NOAA nautical charts. http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/updates/ais_aton.html

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