South Florida Intercoastal

Advocacy Report

By: MIASF Staff

Date posted: Jun 29, 2021 Tue

It’s hurricane season so the month began with a USCG Harbor Safety Committee meeting focused on a report from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center predicting an average hurricane season, producing 14 named storms, of which 7 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes. USCG reminded those at the meeting that any Port Under Condition Yankee (sustained tropical storm force winds are expected to arrive within 24 hours) requires 500 GT vessels to depart the port unless granted permission by the COTP to remain in port. The port is considered any navigable waterway under the sectors command. Permission is as simple as providing Coast Guard a mooring arrangement for review and permission from the facility owner to be there.
In continued discussions involving the FEC railroad bridge, MIASF, Brightline, and FECR officials all met with USCG at Sector Miami this month. Coast Guard announced they were issuing a temporary deviation for FEC New River RR Bridge to operate from 12:01 a.m. on June 1, 2021, until 11:59 p.m. on August 31, 2021. This deviation involves a change in the current language of “minor repair” and is open for comment. During the meeting Brightline indicated their intention to restart service in the 4th quarter of this year. Prior to then we will see trains operating for training purposes.
This month is also the time for staff changes at the USCG. Directly related to a majority of our concerns, LT Sam Rodriguez, Waterways Management Division Chief in Sector Miami, is moving on and LTJG Ben Adrian will be taking command. Ben and several other new staff are planning to join MIASF in July for a tour of the New River and a first-hand view of the scope of the marine industry. In July Coast Guard Seventh District Change of Command RADM Eric C. Jones will be relieved by RDML Brendan C. McPherson.
The industry working group collaborating with USCG on the draft of the 300GT US Flag regulation has met several times and is currently reviewing and commenting on the document.