Mr. Ryan A. Fisher, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) joined District Commander Col. Thomas Asbery and members of the New York District and North Atlantic Division on November 7th and New York District’s Civil Works missions.
The day started with a harbor inspection
aboard the USACE Survey Vessel MORITZ, where he was briefed on the various missions that New York District oversees in the New York Harbor and surrounding federal navigation channels. Such missions as drift collection, dredging, environmental restoration, and environmental remediation were highlighted and how the Corps serves the region.
Fisher was then briefed on the New York and New Jersey Harbor Anchorages Study being conducted by the Norfolk District. Currently, existing federal anchorages in the harbor are insufficient in meeting the variety of functions such as, security and U.S. Coast Guard inspections, lightering, bunkering/refueling, waiting areas, and emergency “bailout” areas). The dimensions of existing anchorages cannot accommodate vessels larger than 1100 foot length overall, which is a significant portion of the ships that regularly call on the Port of New York and New Jersey along with anchored vessels that regularly swing out into the navigation channel. Vessels wait outside the harbor entrance due to a lack of anchorage availability or anchorage areas designed for larger vessels.
Along with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York District is assisting Norfolk District with the study.
The group then traveled via the MORITZ to Rockaway New York to observe the beaches that New York District replenished shorty after Hurricane Sandy with 3.5 million cubic yards of sand. The current Rockaway Study addresses options to provide coastal storm risk management by using a variety of features that include pump stations, nature and natural based flood risk reduction measures, and hard structures such as gates and groins.
The next stop on the tour was Jamaica Bay to inspect New York District emergency operations at Plum Beach and other sites along the route through the bay. The trip was highlighted with a visual tour of constructed marsh islands constructed by using dredge material from the Harbor Deepening Project that provide habitat for wildlife as well as benefit the surrounding communities of Jamaica Bay with a buffer in the event of severe coastal storms. On the return trip to lower Manhattan, Fisher was shown completed Projects at Coney Island and Seagate, N.Y.
The New York District team and Principal Deputy Secretary Fisher then returned to Lower Manhattan. The goal of the mission was to give the secretary a broader understanding of the New York and New Jersey Regions, as well as the Districts many missions and how they benefit the residents of the tri-state area, as well as the region.