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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Galveston Bay News

Image: Port of Houston Authority

Houston Widens Ship Channel

The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority has decided to accelerate widening of the Houston Ship Channel, the nation’s busiest waterway.The Port Authority is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and other representatives of the federal government, as well as Port of Houston and Houston Ship Channel stakeholders, to obtain authorization and accelerated funding and completion, of a deepened and widened ship channel.“The Houston Ship Channel is open for business for all and will continue to be…

Marathon Galveston Bay Contractor Feared Drowned

A contractor was feared drowned after falling into the Port of Texas City, Texas, when scaffolding supporting him collapsed at the Marathon Petroleum Corp Galveston Bay refinery dock, a Texas City official said. "Divers are en route to do a body recovery," Derek Duckett, director of emergency management for Texas City, said on Monday. Part of the scaffolding fell at about 11:30 a.m. CDT (1630 GMT) Monday and the worker has not been seen since, Duckett said. "I heard part of the scaffolding fell and he was tied to it," Duckett said.

Photo: San Jacinto College

San Jacinto College Opens Maritime Training Center

With the cut of a ribbon and ring of a bell, San Jacinto College marked the grand opening of the new Maritime Technology and Training Center on the Maritime Campus on March 8, 2016. The Center is located next to a turning basin along the Port of Houston at 3700 Old Highway 146 in La Porte, Texas - the ideal location for students training to enter the maritime industry, and for current mariners upgrading their U.S. Coast Guard certifications. “This is what we have envisioned for many years,” said Dr. Brenda Hellyer, San Jacinto College Chancellor.

Garyville Refinery (Photo: Marathon Petroleum)

Marathon Petroleum Senior VP to Retire

Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) announced the retirement of Richard D. Bedell, senior vice president of Refining, effective March 1. Raymond L. Brooks, currently general manager of MPC's Galveston Bay refinery in Texas City, Texas, will replace Bedell. Bedell joined Marathon in 1979 and held numerous positions of increasing responsibility in the company, including serving as general manager of MPC's refineries in Garyville, La., Robinson, Ill., and Texas City. Brooks began his career with MPC in 1983…

Summer Wind, Miss Susan Tow Collision Report

This is a synopsis from the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) report and does not include the Board’s rationale for the conclusions, probable cause, and safety recommendations. NTSB staff is currently making final revisions to the report from which the attached conclusions and safety recommendations have been extracted. The final report and pertinent safety recommendation letters will be distributed to recommendation recipients as soon as possible. to further review and editing. Houston Ship Channel, Lower Galveston Bay, Texas. The visibility was restricted at the time due to fog.

Crude oil carrier: File photo

U.S. Marshalls Ordered to Seize Kurdish Oil Cargo off Texas

Acting on a request from the central government in Iraq, a U.S. judge has signed an order telling the U.S. Marshals Service to seize a cargo of oil from Iraqi Kurdistan aboard a tanker off the coast of Texas, court filings showed early on Tuesday. To carry out the order from Magistrate Judge Nancy K. Johnson of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, the Marshals Service may need to rely on companies in the Galveston Bay area that provide crude offloading services.

Houston May Outgrow its Skilled Labor Supply

Bustling Houston, one of the bright spots in the U.S. economy, is growing so fast that business leaders fear running out of skilled labor as billions are spent building new energy infrastructure on the Gulf Coast. The Greater Houston Partnership, the business chamber for the 10-county region, on Monday launched a training plan with companies, junior colleges, high schools and social service agencies to prepare people for thousands of new jobs being created for welders, pipefitters and plumbers.

$790,000 Grant Funds HRI Research of Sea Level Rise

The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has received a $790,000 grant from the Houston Endowment for a ground-breaking project to map and evaluate the effects of sea level rise on the Upper Texas Coast and develop tools to address this critical issue. The program is the first of its kind in Texas to forecast changes to the environment caused by sea level rise and also examine the socio-economic impacts and public policy options for living with a rising sea.

Duma Looks Deep Down for Energy

US's Duma Energy Corp. says it has received new 3D seismic data in its search for deeper oil reserves in its Galveston Bay producing fields. This new data, which covers three of Duma's fields in Galveston Bay, is part of a broader effort by several other large independent oil companies to identify and exploit the deeper potential believed to exist under the bay and surrounding areas. Duma is looking to exploit these deeper zones on its more than 18,000 acres in the bay.

DBL 152: Photo credit NOAA

Restoring the GoM Environment Post-2005 Oil Spill

NOAA release a draft damage assessment & restoration plan for damage caused by the Tank Barge DBL 152 oil spill. Public comment invited. The draft plan describes the steps NOAA has taken to see if natural resources, such as marine habitats, were injured by the nearly two million gallon spill, as well as the extent of those injuries. The spill began on November 11, 2005 when the Tank Barge DBL 152 struck submerged remains of a pipeline service platform that collapsed during Hurricane Rita approximately 50 miles southeast of Sabine Pass, Texas.

DHS: HOGANSAC Members Needed

Coast Guard seeking Houston/Galveston Navigation Safety Advisory Committee applicants to fill vacancies. AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION: Request for applications. SUMMARY: The Coast Guard seeks applications for membership on the Houston/Galveston Navigation Safety Advisory Committee (HOGANSAC). This Committee provides advice and makes recommendations to the Coast Guard on matters relating to the safe transit of vessels and products through Galveston Bay, and to and from the Ports of Galveston, Houston, Texas City, and Galveston Bay.

Sea Floor Surveys Support Texas Maritime Trade

This winter, NOAA will begin a year-long survey of the sea floor in the Port of Houston and Galveston Bay navigational areas, to aid efforts to bring more trade, more cargo, more jobs, and more economic benefits to the Houston area. The navigation survey team arrived in Galveston this week, to begin pre-survey preparations with mariners and federal partners. "With bigger ships, crowded sea lanes, and more uses of ocean areas, shipping today is increasingly a task of precision and accuracy," explained NOAA Corps Cmdr. Todd Haupt, chief of the Office of Coast Survey's Navigation Response Branch.

Donjon to Salvage Archeological Sites

Donjon Marine, Co., Inc. has been awarded two separate contracts for salvage work on archaeological sites in Texas and N.Y. On October 6, the U.S. Navy awarded an archeological site removal contract to Donjon to perform diving, clam-shell dredging and wreck removal services to a Civil War gunboat – the USS Westfield – that was sunk by Southern fire during the Battle of Galveston in 1863. The sunken vessel lies in 40 feet of water in Galveston Bay in Texas. The site has been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Planning for the project began in mid-October.