Page 28: of Marine News Magazine (May 2018)
The Mississippi River is Boiling!
U.S.-Flag dredgers answer the call in the Mississippi River Basin.
By William P. Doyle
Major ? ooding this winter in the enlisted the cutter suction dredge the GD Morgan.
Mississippi River Basin has created Greg Bush, President of The Federal Pilots of Louisiana signi? cant increased shoaling in the said, “The Mississippi River level started rising early this year
Southwest Pass Channel of the Mis- and silted up the Southwest Pass in short order. The U.S- sissippi River. Shoaling is generally de- Flag dredging companies responded immediately with their scribed as the river containing elevated dredgers and equipment and continue to do an excellent job levels of sand and sediment resulting clearing the sediment allowing ships and vessels to transit.” in high water levels and river swelling. The authorized depth for Southwest Pass is 45 feet. Ear-
The Southwest Pass, spanning the low- ly on this year, even before the spring season, the channel
Doyle er end of the Mississippi River (Baton began showing signs of degradation. The channel depth
Rouge, LA) to the Gulf of Mexico, ser- for transit has been lowered to 42 feet and degraded chan- vices four of the top 20 major ports in the Unites States. nel conditions and draft restrictions have multiple impacts
There are more than six dredgers working in the Loui- such as the increased potential for vessel groundings and siana’s Southwest Pass. The U.S.-Flag private sector is an- accidents. There is also the potential for damage to the en- swering the call. Manson Construction sent three hopper vironment due to ? ooding; economic losses because ships dredges (the Bayport, Newport and Glenn Edwards) and would have to light-load their ships or transfer cargo to the cutter suction dredge (Mitch M White); Dutra Group lightering operations. sent its hopper dredge the Stuyvesant; and Weeks Marine Of note, USACE opened the Bonnet Carré Spillway in
MN May18 Layout 18-33.indd 28 MN May18 Layout 18-33.indd 28 4/20/2018 10:09:23 AM4/20/2018 10:09:23 AM