Port Access Route Study Examines Ship Traffic Around Long Beach
2011-11-17 · By Editor
The Coast Guard has completed a Port Access Route Study evaluating the vessel traffic lanes of ship approaches to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as the Santa Barbara Channel. While the study is complete, the formal process of changing the traffic lanes is not yet final.
The study recommends the existing northern outbound traffic lane remain in place, that the width of separation zone between lanes be decreased, and that the southern inbound traffic lane shift one nautical mile to the north to move vessel traffic away from the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. It also recommends expanding the precautionary area outside the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The study was conducted because of significant changes to the vessel traffic patterns after implementation of new cleaner fuel requirements for vessel transiting within 24 nautical miles of the California coast in July 2009.
A Port Access Route Study is required before making any changes to existing traffic separation schemes, a process that includes coordination with interested stakeholders to reconcile the need for safe access routes with other waterway uses. The recommendations in this study require the approval of the International Maritime Organization prior to implementation. The Coast Guard will follow the Federal rulemaking process for implementation of any of the proposed changes.
During the study, data was collected and analyzed on traffic trends, fishing activity, recreational boat traffic, military activities, environmental factors and economic impacts.