Friday, October 23, 2020

USCG Tells Divers, Mariners to Stay Safe During Spiny Lobster Season

Following two diving-related deaths and a rise in diving activity, the U.S. Coast Guard is asking divers and mariners in the greater Los Angeles area to be safe during California spiny lobster season.

“The importance of boating and diving safety cannot be overstated,” said Cmdr. Johna Rossetti from Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach. “Remember to be safe in anything you do. Taking precautions can increase the chance of helping or finding a diver in the event Coast Guard assistance is needed.”

Divers should never dive alone, be medically assessed before diving, make a diving plan, provide a float plan to a person on land in case divers don’t return on schedule and rehearse procedures in the event of an emergency, according to the agency.

When using commercial dive vessels, divers should make sure the mariner is credentialed and inspected by the USCG. Divers should also curb potential fire hazards on the boat and be mindful of emergency exits on vessels and dive flags when moving in certain areas.

Mariners must report diving incidents to Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach on VHF channel 16 or at 310-521-3801.

POLB Chief is the New AAPA Board Chairman

Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero will serve a two-year term as the chairman of the board of the American Association of Port Authorities.

Cordero was installed at AAPA’s virtual 2020 Annual Convention on Sept. 21-23, taking over for Port of Grays Harbor Executive Director Gary G. Nelson.

Newly elected directors include Port of Vancouver USA CEO Julianna Marler for the U.S. North Pacific Ports Region; Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka for the U.S. South Pacific Ports Region; Saint John Port Authority President and CEO James Quinn for the Canada Ports Region; and Northwest Seaport Alliance CEO John G. Wolfe (representing the North Pacific Ports Region), for the At-Large seat.

In addition to new elected leadership, AAPA is enacting changes recently voted by its members.

That includes expanding board member terms to two years, streamlining the number of board members from 45 to 11, doing away with the executive committee, mandating that only port CEOs or their equals serve and limiting to two the number of positions available to any of AAPA’s seven board-represented geographic regions and special representation areas, according to AAPA.

AAPA will also add an Academia membership category and a Supply Chain Partners category to diversify its network. “By restructuring and modernizing AAPA’s Board of Directors, I believe it’ll vastly improve the association’s ability with regard to policymaking and other governance issues, enabling us to be more nimble, efficient and effective as a hemispheric membership association,” said AAPA President and CEO Christopher J. Connor “In reducing the size of our board, we still have a diversity of ports of varying sizes and geographic locations represented. I think we’ve struck just the right balance so all voices of our member ports will be heard in crafting AAPA policy and programs, both now and in the years to come.”

MARAD Encourages Learning Institutions to Apply for CoE Designation

In an effort to further support the next generation of mariners and maritime personnel, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration is asking learning institutions to apply for a Centers of Excellence designation.

The designation allows MARAD to help community or technical colleges and maritime training facilities in various areas, including recruiting and training more students and educators, upgrading facilities, giving student credit for military service, developing career paths in the maritime industry and augmenting employer-led maritime training practices, according to the agency.

“Exciting career opportunities lie ahead for those entering the maritime field, and many of those new entrants will serve our nation directly, advancing both our national security as well as our nation’s continued economic recovery,” said Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby.

Eligible institutions may apply via email to and may mail a copy to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, Deputy Associate Administrator for Maritime Education and Training, Attention: CoE Designation Program,1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590.

“These educational institutions benefit America’s national security and economy by growing and strengthening our maritime workforce,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Port of Redwood City Celebrates Commissioners

The Port of Redwood City recently celebrated its three reappointed commissioners and new board officers. Incumbent commissioners Richard Claire, Ralph A. Garcia and Lorianna Kastrop will continue to serve the port alongside board members Richard Dodge and R. Simms Duncan.

This year, Kastrop will serve as Chair of the Board, while Duncan and Dodge will serve as Vice Chair and Secretary, respectively.

“Our Board of Port Commissioners is the foundation of the port,” said Port Executive Director Kristine A. Zortman. “It is with their dedicated service and leadership that the port continues to thrive as an economic engine for the region, offering waterfront recreation opportunities and serving the Silicon Valley community and beyond.”

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

NOAA to No Longer Make Tide Tables,
Tide Current Tables Printed Publications

NOAA is no longer producing the annual Tide Tables and Tidal Current Tables publications and is replacing them with online services.

Since 1867, NOAA has produced a series of printed publications to provide annual tide predictions or annual tidal current predictions for locations along the coast. The six annual publications affected are:
  1. Tide Tables, East Coast of North and South America Including Greenland
  2. Tide Tables, Europe and West Coast of Africa Including the Mediterranean Sea
  3. Tide Tables, Central and Western Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean
  4. Tide Tables, West Coast of North and South America Including the Hawaiian Islands
  5. Tidal Current Tables, Atlantic Coast of North America
  6. Tidal Current Tables, Pacific Coast of North America and Asia

They are being replaced by online services: NOAA Tide Predictions and NOAA Current Predictions

The online services provide users with as much or better predictions than their printed counterparts. For example, online services can calculate predictions on demand with the newest data available for a station. Also, new stations can be added on quarterly, instead of waiting once a year to be added, according to the agency.

The online services also allow for far more space for stations, offering over 1,200 tide stations and nearly 1,000 currents stations at which predictions are created from harmonic constants.

With the online services, NOAA will be able to create predictions for at least two calendar years, while printed versions could predict one year into the future. Online versions can also offer predictions for past dates for research, legal, and other uses.

Users can also customize predictions with the online services to tailor them to their preferences, including time zone, units and datum to which heights are referenced.

Port of Coos Bay Nets Grant for Rail Line

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay will be awarded a federal transportation grant of almost $10 million to improve the Coos Bay Rail Line, the port announced earlier this month.

The grant, funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Port Infrastructure and Development Program, will allow the port to “replace approximately 67,000 crossties and resurface main line, sidings, an industrial lead, rail yard and spur tracks with ballast along the 121 miles of track that stretches from Eugene to Coos Bay, Oregon,” according to the port.

Port CEO John Burns thanked Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Rep. Peter DeFazio for their efforts, adding that their support was critical in receiving the grant.

“Their continued efforts, support, and advocacy have been paramount to the CBRL’s improvement and success,” he said.

Meanwhile, the port has been working on other improvements to the rail line. At the end of this month, the port is expected to finish the $19.5 million Tunnel Rehabilitation Project, a federal and state-funded project that involved structural and track repairs and drainage work in the real line’s nine tunnels. The port is also planning to fully replace two steel bridges, and significantly repair 13 bridges, including three swing span bridges.

Port of Oakland Posts Best September for Imports

The Port of Oakland saw its best September for fully loaded imported cargo last month with 93,916 TEUs, 10.6 percent more than September 2019, which previously held the best September record with 84,901 TEUs, according to new numbers released Oct. 14.

Meanwhile, the port saw a 5 percent increase in exports from the same time a year ago with 75,674 TEUs.

Overall cargo numbers in September were up 9.3 percent to 225,809 year over year, according to the port.

Retailers preparing for the holiday shopping season and demand for consumer goods and pandemic-related products such as PPEs are contributing to a record-shattering month for imports, the port said.

“Several months into this pandemic, we are now seeing positive signs by these cargo volume totals,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “As retailers make sure shelves are well-stocked, we’re waiting to see if consumers begin shopping early this holiday season.” The port said it is seeing retailers girding themselves for a potential wave of COVID-19 this winter and are stocking up in the event of factory closures and lockdowns.

L.A. Harbor Commissioner Nominated
for Volunteerism

Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner Lucia Moreno-Linares has been nominated for the 2020 Los Angeles Business Journal Volunteer of the Year award, part of the publication’s annual Women’s Leadership Series and Awards.

Moreno-Linares, who was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2017, is chair of the Wilmington YMCA Council of Managers, and serves on the boards of the L.A. County Small Business Commission and the District Business Commission.

She has volunteered her time with the Wilmington Neighborhood Council, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Harbor Watts Economic Development Corporation and Wilmington Senior Citizen Center Task Force. In the early 1990s, she founded Wilmington Business Watch and Vecinos Unidos Neighborhood Watch.

“Whether in business or through volunteerism, Commissioner Moreno-Linares demonstrates every day what true leadership and compassion can be, giving selflessly of her time and talent to so many organizations and causes,” said Los Angeles Harbor Commission President Jaime Lee. “I’m very proud to serve alongside her on the Harbor Commission and have the privilege of calling her my friend and colleague.”