Friday, September 25, 2020

More Recs to Reopen for Testing

On Sept. 28, the National Maritime Center’s Regional Examination Centers will reopen for limited testing services in Anchorage, Baltimore, Oakland, Portland, and St. Louis, it was announced this week.

Mariners need to email for an appointment and include their name, mariner reference number, potential dates for testing, phone number and a copy of their Approved to Test letter(s).

Walk-in appointments are not allowed. Mariners must have an appointment for exam services.

Before taking their examinations, mariners will be tested for COVID-19 and those with symptoms will not be allowed in the facility and will have to visit another time. Face coverings must be worn at all times or be asked to leave. Fees for all exams fees must be paid before taking a test.

Test-takers should come with No. 2 pencils, photo identification, a non-programmable calculator, and plotting equipment. Other personal belongings will be prohibited.

To set up an exam appointment, reach out to:

  • REC Anchorage –
  • REC Baltimore –
  • REC Boston –
  • REC Charleston –
  • REC Honolulu –
  • REC Houston –
  • REC Juneau –
  • REC Long Beach –
  • REC Memphis –
  • REC Miami – or (305) 536-4331
  • REC New Orleans –
  • REC New York –
  • REC Oakland –
  • REC Portland –
  • REC Seattle –
  • REC St.Louis –
  • REC Toledo –
  • MU Ketchikan – (907) 225-4496 (extension #3)
  • MU San Juan – (787) 729-2368

For more, reach out to the Customer Service Center at 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) or

Port of Everett Awarded Grant to Raise Freight Capacity

The Port of Everett will be awarded $17.75 million in federal transportation funds to bolster freight capacity, announced Washington Rep. Rick Larsen, who implored the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao to look at the port’s grant application.

The Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) program paves the way for the development of a new cargo terminal, infrastructure improvements, cleanup and more jobs, the port said.

“I am beyond thrilled with the news of this BUILD grant,” Port of Everett CEO Lisa Lefeber said, thanking Larsen and others who have supported the port’s freight improvement efforts. “The grant is a game-changer for our region, and the Port of Everett stands ready to deliver on the scope of this critical maritime project to enhance the movement of freight and restore jobs to the site.”

Rep. Larsen, a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said this grant “is great news for businesses and workers who depend on the Port of Everett to connect local goods and services with global markets. I will continue to champion federal investment in Northwest Washington to build and sustain local projects, put people to work and boost long-term economic recovery.”

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Active Returns to Port Angeles

 After 56 days and more than 7,300 miles on patrol, crew members of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Active recently came back from deployment to their Port Angeles home port, the agency announced this month.

The 210-foot Active patrolled the Straits of Juan de Fuca and the Oregon and Washington coasts and boarded more than 40 commercial fishing vessels as part of Operation Pacific Fortune. The crew teamed with the Coast Guard afloat training office in Everett for training, including more than 96 drills. They trained to react to fires, flooding, towing disabled vessels and a number of other contingencies.

The training applied during patrol, when Active had to address disabled vessel calls.

“As the pandemic wears on, this crew continues to redefine what I understand as ‘resilience,’" said Cmdr. James O’Mara, commanding officer of the Active. “Going to sea, living in tight quarters, enduring tedious, but necessary protocols in port and underway – this crew does it all to stay healthy, protect the public, and perform our missions at sea for the taxpayer. Even after this busy summer transfer season with 30% personnel turnover, I was amazed at how quickly the team came together for such a productive patrol. This crew is rock solid, top notch.”

Work to Begin at Vancouver Landing

 Vancouver Landing and day-dock at Terminal 1 will be closed to boat access and foot traffic starting Sept. 28, just before the Port of Vancouver USA begins construction work on Vancouver Landing, the western part of the Terminal 1 pier, the port announced this week.

The work involves reinforcing the deck with 20 additional steel piles to support the area in case of an earthquake, as well as changing the top deck to accommodate a future open space for the public.

“We are thrilled to be moving forward with another piece of the Terminal 1 vision while providing local jobs and economic benefit to our region,” said port executive sponsor Jonathan Eder.

After this work is done, the port is expected to add seating areas for the public and put in new underground utility infrastructure in the project’s next phase, which is set to start in the spring and finish in the fall.

Visit for more.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

NOAA, U.S. Navy Team on Unmanned Maritime Systems

NOAA and the U.S. Navy recently inked a deal to further develop the use of unmanned maritime systems, allowing NOAA to expand its science, service and stewardship mission with the Navy’s expertise, infrastructure, best practices and training.

“With the strengthening of our ongoing partnership with the Navy, NOAA will be better positioned to transition unmanned maritime technologies into operational platforms that will gather critical environmental data that will help grow the American Blue Economy,” said retired Navy Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator.

NOAA relies on unmanned systems and other advanced technologies to enhance its ongoing research and data-gathering efforts. The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, which is responsible for defining the physical environment from the ocean floor to the stars so that the Navy can defend and maintain freedom on the water, has been a leader in developing and using unmanned systems for more than two decades.

“This agreement lays the foundation for collaboration, engagement, and coordination between NOAA and the U.S. Navy that our nation has never seen before,” said RDML John Okon, Commander Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. “It will help us take advantage of each other’s strengths to advance each of our strategic and operational mission priorities.”

Cutter Oliver Henry Delivered to Coast Guard

Over the summer, the U.S. Coast Guard received its latest Sentinel-class fast response cutter (FRC), the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Henry (WPC-1140), from Bollinger Shipyards.

The 154-foot cutter, which is in Florida for pre-commissioning trials and maintenance, is set to arrive in Santa Rita, Guam, later this year, the agency said..

“The fast response cutters are a real game changer here in the Pacific for the Coast Guard,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jessica Conway, the Coast Guard 14th District’s patrol boat manager. “Already the FRCs stationed here in Hawaii are conducting longer missions over greater distances than the older patrol boats they are replacing.”

Named after the first African American Coast Guardsman who paved the way for minorities within the agency, Cutter Oliver Henry will become the second of a trio of fast response cutters based in Gaum. All will be able to conduct search and rescue, marine protection enforcement and other missions.

“Here in the Pacific one of our greatest challenges is distance,” said Conway. “With the FRCs boasting a larger crew size and greater endurance, they are able to complete missions both close to shore and over the horizon, aiding both the people of Guam and our partners in the region.”

Plans Withdrawn for Potash Export Facility at Port of Grays Harbor

Citing ongoing local concerns and regulatory obstacles, BHP has announced that it is no longer pursuing plans for a potash export facility at the Port of Grays Harbor.

The company, which had been envisioning a facility at the port’s Terminal 3 since 2015, withdrew its permit applications earlier this month and will instead shift its focus to developing at Fraser Surrey Docks in British Columbia and do its due diligence on other shortlisted terminals, according to the port.

“While we are incredibly disappointed to lose this significant opportunity not just for our community, but for our state and our nation, I am grateful to BHP for the lessons we have learned about what community engagement and the environmental permitting process can and should look like,” Port Executive Director Gary Nelson said in a statement. “This was our project to lose and unfortunately, as I have said many times in the past, time kills deals. For rural economic development to thrive, we have to be able to provide prospective investors and employers with clearly defined requirements along with timelines for the path forward. After five years, we collectively were not able to do that for the BHP project.”

Terminal 3’s industrial property and its proximity to rail and deep-water access were attractive features for BHP, which spent years conducting “geotechnical, environmental, cultural and other site investigations” related to its proposed facility. But regulatory issues hampered progress.

“We will also look to work with our tribal leaders and state and federal elected officials to help improve the current permitting processes so that businesses like BHP, and REG and Contanda before them, don’t have to waste multiple years and millions of dollars on a process that has no end,” said Port Harbor Commission President Stan Pinnick.

U.S. Coast Guard Release Strategy for IUU Fishing

A new 10-year strategy to bolster global safety against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing was released Thursday by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The 40-page document entitled IUU Fishing Strategic Outlook stresses the agency’s commitment to fight illegal fishing practices and details a three-pronged effort that includes using innovative intelligence to target enforcement operations, exposing  “predatory and irresponsible State behavior,” and broadening its cooperation with multilateral fisheries enforcement agencies, including domestic and foreign partners.

“The Coast Guard’s IUU Fishing Strategic Outlook outlines the Service’s efforts to combat the scourge of IUU fishing over the next decade,” said Adm. Karl Schultz, commandant of the Coast Guard. “We are committed to working with our allies and like-minded partners to strengthen the international fisheries enforcement regime and counter this pervasive threat. As a recognized world leader in maritime safety, security and environmental stewardship, the Coast Guard has a responsibility to help build a coalition of partners willing to identify and address IUU fishing bad actors and model responsible global maritime behavior.”

Visit for more on the strategy.