Friday, July 9, 2021

Port of Hueneme Completes Harbor Deepening Project

After more than 20 years, the Port of Hueneme recently finished its long-awaited harbor deepening project.

The $10.4 million project, conceived in 1999 by a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project feasibility study, deepens the port’s berth areas from 35 feet to 40 feet and allows for more efficient cargo movement. The 390,000 cubic yards of sand dredged was repurposed for the beach.

“This is a historical day for the port as we are finally realizing the completion of a vision by the port, the board and our many partners,” said port CEO and Director Kristin Decas. “The ongoing modernization of our port and harbor creates ladders of opportunity for our community, creating local jobs and access to a better quality of life through global trade.”

The project was funded with $3.6 million from the Port of Hueneme/Oxnard Harbor District and $6.8 million total from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Naval Base Ventura County.

“The Corps is excited about the completion of this important deepening project in collaboration with the Port of Hueneme/Oxnard Harbor District and the U.S. Navy,” said Col. Julie Balten, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District. “This project will enable the port to accommodate larger vessels, which support not only our nation’s economy, but also our national defense.”

June Imports Up, Exports Flat at Port of Long Beach

The Port of Long Beach saw 20.3% more overall cargo last month than it did in June 2020, moving 724,297 TEUs, according to new numbers released Thursday.

The nation’s second-busiest port handled 357,101 TEUs in imported goods last month, 18.8% more than the same time last year. Meanwhile, exports remained flat with a slight 0.5% dip from June 2020 with 116,947 TEUs. Empty containers rose 36% to 250,249 TEUs. The numbers reflect a cooling of consumerism as the world slowly reopens post-quarantine.

“We anticipate e-commerce to drive much of our cargo movement through the rest of 2021 as retailers plan for a busy summer season,” port Executive Director Mario Cordero remarked. “However, June serves as an indicator that consumer demand for goods will gradually level off as the national economy continues to open up and services become more widely available.”

The port saw fewer cargo vessels in June than it did in May because of a shift in services and delays stemming from a COVID-19 outbreak in China’s Yantian port, officials said.

In May, U.S. retail sales were 18% higher than pre-pandemic, even though consumer spending was down because of rising prices. In June, port officials expect consumers to spend at eateries, travel and other services as states begin to relax COVID-19 restrictions.

Alaskan, Washington Fisheries Eligible for Disaster Help

Three West Coast fisheries have been identified by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo as fishery disasters that are eligible for disaster help.

The 2019 Norton Sound Red King Crab in Alaska, the 2018 Port Gamble S’Klallam Puget Sound Coho Salmon in Washington and the 2019 Chehalis and Black River Spring Chinook Salmon in Washington met the criteria for eligibility.

“Fisheries are essential to our communities and economy and we want to ensure America is in a position to remain competitive on the global stage,” Raimondo said. “These determinations allow us to lend a helping hand to the fishing families and communities that have experienced very real and difficult setbacks in the last few years.”

The Secretary worked with NOAA Fisheries to review fishery disaster requests, which are based on submitted data and fall under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and/or the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act.

Such a designation allows these fisheries to qualify for assistance from NOAA, the Small Business Administration and the Department of Commerce, which has money left over from previously budgeted fishery disaster help and can reallocate those funds.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

NOAA Launches Operation Clean Seas

NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries on the West Coast have teamed up to kick off its inaugural Operation Clean Seas, an effort to raise public awareness on sanctuary discharge rules in the Olympic Coast, Greater Farallones, Cordell Bank, Monterey Bay, and Channel Islands national marine sanctuaries.

“National Marine Sanctuaries are America’s most valued ocean areas,” said Greg Busch, Assistant Director of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement, West Coast Division. “Compliance with discharge regulations helps ensure these special places are available for current and future generations.”

The awareness program, which will be promoted through Labor Day weekend, will involve informational pamphlets to those who operate commercial fishing, recreational, and charter vessels at dockside inspections and at-sea boardings, as well as to the public at national marine sanctuary and marina offices.

Tips include:
  • Discarding untreated sewage and graywater by using sewage pump-out or dump stations or mobile pump-out services.

  • Curbing graywater’s effect on the environment by using a phosphate-free soap to and showering and dish washing on the mainland to lessen graywater discharge.

  • Protecting against oily and dirty bilge water discharge by making regular engine, hose and fitting checks and adding an oil absorbent pad or pillow in your vessel’s bilge.

  • Not using soap to disperse fuel and oil spills or bilge cleaners.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Change of Command for USCG 13th District

Rear Adm. Melvin Bouboulis is the new commander of the 13th Coast Guard District, overseeing USCG operations throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Bouboulis, formerly the director of operational logistics in Washington, D.C., takes over for Rear Adm. Anthony “Jack” Vogt, who’s retiring after 35 years of service.

“It has been an incredible privilege to serve as the 13th District Commander for the past two years,” said Vogt. “Throughout my tenure, I have endeavored to honor my oath, perform the mission, adhere to the Coast Guard core values, and take care of the crews I have been trusted to lead.”

“During what has been an extremely challenging time in our nation’s history, I am extremely proud of our Coast Guard women and men for performing with excellence while saving lives, ensuring maritime security, and protecting our beautiful Pacific Northwest environment,” he said.

The ceremony recently took place at Coast Guard Base Seattle where Vice Adm. Michael F. McAllister, commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, presided over the command change.

Port of Oakland Tenants, Staff Receive Half a Million Free Face Masks

Two California firms have helped get 500,000 face masks to Port of Oakland staff and tenants.

BELLA+CANVAS, a sustainable clothing company in Montebello, donated the masks, and Oakland trucking firm Impact Transportation offered to deliver them to the port.

“We’re happy to do our part during the pandemic to help the port, which provides the region’s essential everyday products,” said Kenneth W. Duncan, executive director of logistics at BELLA+CANVAS, which last year partnered with federal agencies to create face masks in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, and chose the port as the recipient.

The gestures were welcomed by the port, which for the last 18 months has been moving a record amount of cargo during the pandemic and handling various matters related to the health crisis, including the disembarking and repatriation of cruise ship passengers affected by COVID-19 on the Grand Princess.

“Our staff, tenants and customers have worked heroically to keep the state going despite COVID-19,” port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said. “We’re grateful that we can thank them with this simple but essential gift.”

Port of Long Beach Approves $622.4M Budget

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a $622.4 million spending plan for fiscal year 2022, which begins Oct. 1.

The budget, which needs final approval from the City Council, includes $329.1 million allotted for capital improvements such as upgrades to bridges, roads and terminals, as well as $20.6 million to the city’s Tidelands Operating Fund and the addition of 11 full-time jobs at the port.

“Although the COVID-19 pandemic tested our resolve, we remain focused on the future by investing in strategic projects that will improve cargo flow, reliability and efficiency,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “As an international gateway for trade, the port is well positioned to endure economic challenges and assist in the nation’s economic recovery.”

The 2022 plan is 4.2% lower than the previous budget. The port is anticipating 8.7% higher operating revenue based on how well containerized cargo volumes are performing.

“The scope and reach of the COVID-19 pandemic struck a serious blow to the global economy, but the port remains fiscally strong and secure,” port Executive Director Mario Cordero said. “We plan to assist with the region’s recovery by continuing to invest in our community, our workforce and infrastructure upgrades that will keep us competitive well into the future.”

USCG Cutter Alex Haley Returns from Bering Sea Patrol

After 52 days patrolling the Bering Sea, the crew members of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley returned last week to their homeport in Kodiak, Alaska.

During their deployment, the crew of the 282-foot medium endurance cutter lent search and rescue support to fisheries in the region and patrolled the Aleutian chain, conducting 17 law enforcement boardings. They were there to enforce maritime law and regulation compliance and ensure that illegal harvesting of U.S. fish stocks was prevented by watching the maritime boundary line.

“Assuming the duties as commanding officer of Alex Haley during a patrol afforded me the opportunity to learn a great deal about the ship and its crew,” said Cmdr. Brian Whisler commanding officer of the Alex Haley. “While such a significant transition can prove challenging, the crew continually maintained impressive work ethic and professionalism in the execution of our primary missions. Their dedication to the people and communities we serve proves Alex Haley crew members (are) a vital asset in the Bering Sea region.”

From the Editor: Maritime Cybersecurity

By Mark Nero, Managing Editor

As the rest of the world becomes more and more dependent upon technology, so does the maritime industry. All kinds of gadgets, from smartphones to tablets to apps have enhanced the way the industry operates.

But sometimes with beneficial advancement also come issues that occasionally need to be addressed. And that’s certainly the case with technology, as one of its big challenges is being able to keep data and information safe and secure. Things such as ransomware, spyware, phishing and computer viruses are all issues that companies big and small that use various forms of technology sometimes have to deal with.

Realizing this, and in a continual effort to serve the needs of our readers, the print version of Pacific Maritime will debut a new maritime cybersecurity column in its August issue. The column, which will run in every other issue, will tackle various issues. Upcoming columns are planned on the following topics:
  • Introduction to Maritime Cyber Security – International Maritime Organization and US Coast Guard Guidance.
  • Ransomware - What is it and why is it an Issue for Maritime?
  • What is the USCG Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA)?
  • How to Perform a Cyber Risk Assessment.
Authoring the column will be Ernie Hayden, a longtime cybersecurity expert based in the Seattle, Washington area.

Ernie, who’s an industrial control systems cyber and physical security subject matter expert, previously was a cybersecurity lead at Canada-based BBA Inc.; an executive consultant with Alexandria, Va.-based Securicon; before that, he was managing principal, critical infrastructure protection/cybersecurity with Verizon.

Prior to Verizon, Ernie was the information security strategic advisor in the compliance office at Seattle City Light. He was also the chief information security officer for the Port of Seattle.

He also previously held several significant management positions in both business management and the information security management arenas. He was president and CEO of Bellevue, Wash.- based MCM Enterprise, an advanced sensor technology company for the hydroelectric sector; he was IT security lead for the Seattle Justice Information System in the Seattle Municipal Court and Seattle Police Department; he was director of security services for Alstom Esca software; executive director for the Electric Power Research Institute covering western U.S. and Canadian operations; and a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy qualified as a nuclear engineer and surface warfare officer.

Ernie has extensive experience in industrial controls security, the power utility industry, critical infrastructure protection/information security, cybercrime and cyberwarfare. He is also a noted writer and speaker on the topic of industrial controls cyber and physical security, as well as the nuances of critical infrastructure protection.

And if all that wasn’t enough, Ernie is also an accomplished photographer; one of the latest examples of his work can be found on the cover of the August issue of Pacific Maritime’s sister publication, Fishermen’s News.

So, with all that said, I’d like to officially welcome Ernie to the Maritime Publishing team, and I look forward to reading his expert insight on maritime cybersecurity every other month. Considering all the cybersecurity threats now out there in the maritime industry as well as the world at large, the launch of his column is a very timely one.

Managing Editor Mark Nero can be reached at: