Wednesday, June 13, 2018

U.S. Coast Guard seeks mariner input for Western Rivers study

WASHINGTON – The United States Coast Guard is seeking input until July 1, 2018, for a study of navigation requirements for the entire Western Rivers System.

The Coast Guard Waterways Analysis and Management System (WAMS) study will review the Western Rivers Aids to Navigation (ATON) System.

The ATON system on the Western Rivers differs from the U.S. Coastal ATON System due to the unstable nature of the river and channels. The Coast Guard operates this system on the Mississippi River from Upper Mississippi River Mile 857 to Lower Mississippi River Mile 155 and on its tributaries.

The system also includes the following rivers and waterways:
  • Port Allen-Morgan City Alternate Route (Louisiana)
  • That part of the Atchafalaya River above its junction with the Port Allen-Morgan City Alternate Route including the Old River and the New River.
  • The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (Mississippi)
  • Tombigbee River ((Mississippi-Alabama)
  • Black Warrior River (Alabama)
  • Alabama River
  • Coosa River (Alabama)
  • Mobile River above Cochrane Bridge at St. Louis Point
  • Flint River
  • Chattahoochee River
  • Apalachicola River above its confluence with the Jackson River 
The rivers and waterways by Coast Guard Sectors:
Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi
Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi
Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley
Coast Guard Sector Mobile
Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan
Arkansas River
Illinois River
Apalachicola River
Chicago River
Atchafalaya River
Minnesota River
Big Sandy River
Flint River
Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal
Canadian River
Missouri River
Clinch River
Chattahoochee River
Des Plains River
Lower Mississippi River
St. Croix River
Cumberland River
Mobile River

Ouachita-Black River
Upper Mississippi River
Green River
Alabama River

Red River
Kaskaskia River
Hiwassee River
Black Warrior

Verdigris River

Kanawha River
Mulberry Fork Black Warrior River

San Bois Creek

Little River
Locust Fork Black Warrior River

Keller Lake

Little Tennessee River
Coosa River

White River

Monongahela River

Pine Bluff

Ohio River

Port Allen-Morgan City Alternate Route

Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway

Tombigbee River

Tennessee River

Emory River

Piney River

Cumberland River

Interested mariners and maritime stakeholders can provide input at

The survey will be available until July 1, 2018.

In addition to reviewing input from the survey, the WAMS study will analyze cargo data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterborne Statistics Center. Automatic Identification System (AIS) marine traffic data will also be analyzed and compared with environmental conditions, such as ice and water levels. 

The Western Rivers study is the third of a series of U.S. Coast Guard navigation systems reviews. The first study identified requirements for the Atlantic and Gulf Seacoast and the second study is reviewing navigation requirements for the Pacific Seacoast and Islands.

Through these system-wide navigation studies, the U.S. Coast Guard is reviewing its nation-wide policy on the use of ATON and delivery of Marine Safety Information to promote the safety of future maritime transportation and commerce on U.S. navigable waters.

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