The Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) e-Navigation Integrated Action Team (“e-Nav IAT”) has been working for nearly a year to implement the US e-Navigation Strategic Action Plan. The Strategic Action Plan says that “A core element of successful e-Navigation implementation is partnering across the spectrum of stakeholders” and among the principles supporting that are: “Focus on meeting users’ requirements. Develop a collaborative partnership with the MTS community. Encourage and support regular and frequent communications. Be thoroughly transparent in decision-making activities.“
The e-Nav IAT has announced that they are conducting an online dialog through 28 February 2013 on the future of e-Navigation in the United States.
Go to http://enav.ideascale.com to register and start participation in the dialog. You can review current focus areas, see suggested actions, comment on proposed actions and suggest your own.
According to the site: “Users submit their ideas. Our community discusses and votes for ideas. The best ideas bubble up to the top.”
So what will be done with the outcome(s) of the dialog? The site says:
“Comments provided to this dialogue will be considered by the CMTS e-Nav IAT along with other stakeholder input to inform the IAT’s work plan and recommendations. An analysis of the feedback received through this effort will be made available at the conclusion of this dialogue at http://www.cmts.gov.”
Whether this “analysis” will consist of a report, statistics or suggestions for what will be included in the action plan is not stated. But, it is certainly a chance for you to have your voice heard if you have any interest in e-Navigation, so go ahead and check it out.
When I was in Seattle a couple of weeks ago (but not for this) I had the opportunity to visit the Ballard Locks again. This year was special, as they had the main chamber dewatered. After visiting the beautiful Administration building and the control tower, I was able to climb down into the main lock chamber and check it out. Here are a few photos from the visit:
The foyer of the Administration building. Looks good now; it was even nicer last year when it was decorated for the holidays.
The dewatered main chamber as seen from the control tower. The gulls are enjoying dining on all the exposed sea life.
The east end of the main chamber has a saltwater barrier on the floor; it’s buoyant and normally angled up (you can see the scrape marks on the far wall) and acts to keep heavier saltwater out of Lake Union and Lake Washington.
View of the empty chamber from the chamber floor. Note the filling ports ont he left and right – there is a man-sized entrance just out of sight to the right that we went through and saw the filling tunnel. There is a cable on the floor in the center of the chamber; apparently that was lost or discarded by a tug and tow sometime since the last dewatering.
A couple of views from inside the filling tunnel – hard to see anything, as it was dark in the tunnel (duh) and the flash didn’t help. The first image is looking at the end of the tunnel where the water comes in from the upstream side; the lower one is one of the filling ports from the inside – this is the man-sized port that we walked through to get from the chamber into the tunnel.
Lots of aquatic life was exposed in the dewatered lock. Pretty much all underwater surfaces were covered with barnacles; sometime several inches deep. Part of the maintenance is to scrape them off – very laborious work. There were a lot of fish and crabs – you can see a crab pot that was lost in the chamber in one of the photos; perhaps you can make out some of the fish including flounder that blend in very well with the bottom.
A view of the locks from the south side. The lock grounds are almost entirely open to the public and are very well-maintained. The locks and fish ladder (just out of view to the right in this photo) are the second most popular tourist site in Seattle (after the Space Needle). I definitely recommend a visit!
Thanks to the guys at the locks (and I hope you get your LOMA unit installed soon!)
River Information Services – Basics of RIS and Plans for U.S. Implementation — A Live ASCE Webinar
Date: Fri., Nov. 2, 2012
Time: 12 Noon – 1 PM ET
Registration ends on October 30
River Information Services (RIS) is defined as “the harmonized information services to support traffic and transport management in inland navigation, including interfaces to other transport modes. RIS aim at contributing to a safe and efficient transport process and utilizing the inland waterways to their fullest extent.” RIS has been implemented and used for years in Europe and elsewhere, but in the U.S., the extensive network of inland waterways has not been managed as a system. A variety of RIS-like services with these aims exist, but they are provided by various government agencies and industry with varying degrees of harmonization. This webinar will present the basics concepts of RIS, including basic services and technologies. It will also discuss the plans for RIS implementation in the US and its relationship with e-Navigation.
- Learn the basics of RIS and what it means for your job
- Learn how your business or agency can participate in and benefit from the U.S. RIS implementation
- Understand the RIS roles of the Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard, and NOAA
- Identify opportunities for navigation services
- Each attendee earns 1.0 Professional Development Hour (1 PDH)
Cost: $249 ASCE Members/$299 non-members
Registrations must be received three days prior to the webinar date or a $25 late registration fee will be assessed.
Special Offer on Webinars: Individuals and Small Organizations (Less than Five Engineers) save $100 on the Registration Fee – Just Use Promo Code LESS10 when registering.
Brian J. Tetreault is a Navigation Systems Specialist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory. He previously served 22 years on active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard. During his Coast Guard career he served aboard two icebreakers and a fisheries patrol cutter and held several staff positions dealing with waterways management and navigation systems.