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Southeast Chapter News

  • March 17, 2016 9:52 AM | Deleted user

    A report published by Marsh, a leading insurance broker and risk adviser, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, says bathymetric data, which produces 3D images of seabeds, is "inadequate or non-existent" for large tracts of national and international waters.

    In order to support the growth of the global shipping industry, governments around the world need to invest more in creating and sharing accurate hydrographic information, says Marsh.

    Marsh’s report, 'Plumbing the Depths: Hydrographic Concerns for Modern-Day Large Vessels,' highlights how increasingly large commercial vessels with greater length, width, and depth are navigating vast areas of the world’s seas and oceans. These areas are either unsurveyed or have not been re-surveyed since lead-line soundings were used to measure fathoms nearly a century ago.

    According to the International Hydrographic Organization, nearly half (49 per cent) of the UK’s coastal waters up to 200m have been adequately surveyed to modern standards, with Japan at 46 per cent and Australia at 35 per cent. In the Arctic Peninsula, an increasingly popular destination for cruise ships, virtually all coastal waters up to depths of 200m have not yet been surveyed.

    “This is a pivotal decade in the development of the global maritime industry given the enormous proportions of commercial vessels now plying waters around the world,” said, Marcus Baker, Chairman of Marsh’s Global Marine Practice.

    “The new Suez Canal allows nearly double the previous maximum of vessels to transit the Canal each day; and the new Panama Canal, with its new locks and deeper channels, is set to open later this year. More government investment in hydrographic surveys and the sharing of accurate bathymetric data and hydrographic information is imperative, to protect vessels and the crews that serve on them.”

    In January 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) was granted powers to audit the performance of countries in fulfilling their safety of life at sea (SOLAS) obligations, including the collection and compilation of hydrographic data and the publication and dissemination of all nautical information necessary for safe navigation. However, the IMO currently has no authority to compel countries to fulfil these obligations.

    Steve Harris, Senior Vice President, Marsh’s Global Marine Practice, said: “There are many parts of the world where the salvage industry is ill-equipped to handle large incidents, which is a concern for operators, insurers, salvors, and environmentalists alike. Having these larger vessels, with their increasingly valuable and complex cargoes, sailing through inadequately charted waters has enormous environmental and business interruption implications, should an incident occur.”

    Article Credit: Dredging News Online at http://www.sandandgravel.com/news/article.asp?v1=22679.

  • March 01, 2016 10:23 AM | Deleted user

    Come join us for the Southeast Chapter’s 5th Annual Crawfish Boil on Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Pat’s Fisherman’s Wharf in Henderson.

    Our guest speaker will be Brian Busey, THSOA National President. Brian will give a presentation/update on the activities of THSOA-National.

    It will be all you can eat crawfish and fixin’s for only $35. To attend this event, please register online via the THSOA website at www.thsoa.org/event-2152671 or email (kim.dailey@teledyne.com, laginla@Hotmail.com or southeast@thsoa.org). Registration closes April 11th.

    We also are offering sponsorships. All sponsors will have their company logo on the event banner and acknowledged at the event. Platinum sponsors will have their logo and acknowledged on the Southeast Chapter web site.

    All proceeds from this event will go toward funding THSOA-Southeast Chapter’s Student Scholarship Awards program. 
For platinum/gold/silver/bronze sponsorship opportunities or if you would like to donate a door prize please contact Kim Dailey @ kim.dailey@teledyne.com or Linda Guillory @ laginla@hotmail.com.

  • January 21, 2016 11:11 AM | Deleted user

    Thank you to everyone who voted online and also who attended the annual general meeting and voted. Below are the Southeast Chapter board members for 2016.

  • January 14, 2016 2:38 PM | Deleted user

    In accordance with the Society's by-laws, THSOA Southeast Chapter will be holding a vote for the following positions: Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Technical Chairman and Membership/Student Liaison Chair for each state. The voting will be open from January 14th, 2016 until noon January 20th, 2016. If you are a current member, you should be receiving an email with information about casting your vote. This email has already been sent out, so if you did not receive it, it could be in your spam folder or we might not have a good email address for you. If you think you should have received an email and did not, please contact southeast@thsoa.org and we will look into it.

    If you plan to attend the annual general meeting on Wednesday January 20 at 6pm at Pat’s Fisherman’s Wharf you can cast your vote then.

    Results will be announced on Thursday January 21.

  • January 05, 2016 2:24 PM | Deleted user

    The Southeast Chapter of The Hydrographic Society of America is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2015 Scholarship awards.

    • Anne Marie Stonestreet – The University of Southern Mississippi
    • James Smith – University of Florida 
    • Gail Johnson – South Louisiana Community College 
    • Celeste Woock – University of New Orleans    
    Congratulations to the fine deserving students.
  • December 21, 2015 2:11 PM | Deleted user

    What an awesome time at the THSOA-Southeast chapter Gumbo Rumble.
    A big thank you to our sponsors, who without you this event would not be possible.

    • Weeks Marine
    • Teledyne Odom
    • Aqua-Tech Services
    • Hydroterra Technologies
    • Navigation Electronics Inc.

    Congratulations to our winners

    • 1st place Surf- C.A. Richards
    • 2nd place Surf- Aqua-Tech Services
    • 1st place Turf- Navigation Electronics Inc.
    • 2nd place Turf- Hydroterra Technologies
    • Fan Favorite- Hydroterra Technologies and C.A. Richards (tied)
  • December 02, 2015 8:28 PM | Deleted user

    THSOA-Southeast Chapter nominations for the Board is now open. Elections to be held January 13-20, 2016

     The Hydrographic Society of America-Southeast Chapter (www.thsoa.org/Southeast-Chapter) is a non-profit organization which seeks to educate its members and the general public about hydrographic surveying. The officers are all volunteers and receive no compensation for their time and efforts. With leadership and drive from the top, this chapter can continue to provide scholarships to students in our region and also to provide informative presentations and social events. We need dedicated individuals to help give some time back to their profession!

    We are hoping that others with energy and some time will step forward to help the chapter to continue moving forward.

    Beginning the 1st of December, the chapter will accept nominations for members to serve in the following roles

    • President
    • Treasurer (Special Election to replace treasurer who resigned)
    • Secretary
    • Membership & Student Liaison Chair

    If you are able to donate some of your time and effort to the chapter, you will consider running for one of the positions. Once nominations have closed (Jan 13, 2016), we’ll hold an on-line election for Chapter members for positions with two or more nominees. Additional voting (for people who didn't vote on-line) and results will be announced at our AGM on January 20, 2016

    Nominations may be sent to southeast@thsoa.org or mike.nitska@hydroterratec.com We’ll check with each nominee to confirm their willingness to serve.

  • October 21, 2015 11:16 AM | Deleted user

    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 | Deleted user

    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 | Deleted user
    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.