Coast Guard completes current measurement device in Matagorda Bay

Members of Aids to Navigation Team Port O'Connor work to finish installation of an ocean current measurement device near Port O'Connor, Texas, June 20, 2017. The current meter measures the flow of fast and unpredictable currents to allow mariners to safely navigate through the confined waterways of Matagorda Bay. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Aids to Navigation Team Port O' Connor.

Members of Aids to Navigation Team Port O’Connor work to finish installation of an ocean current measurement device near Port O’Connor, Texas, June 20, 2017.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Aids to Navigation Team Port O’ Connor.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard, in close coordination with its partner agencies, has completed the construction and testing of a current meter in Matagorda Bay that greatly improves safety of navigation.

Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi worked together with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Texas Water Development Board, Matagorda Bay Pilots Association, and Mr. Raymond Butler, project sponsor, to complete this five-year project.

The current meter measures the flow of fast and unpredictable currents to allow mariners to safely navigate through the confined waterways of Matagorda Bay. This information is critical to the safe transit of 11,000 vessels and the transportation of over $2 billion in cargo annually.

“The completion of the Matagorda Bay current meter is a direct result of the phenomenal cooperation among our multiple partner agencies,” said Capt. Tony Hahn, sector commander of Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi. “Not only will the current meter improve the safety of inland mariners, but it will help forecast hazardous material spill trajectories, provide historical data to prevent shoreline erosion, and prevent groundings and collisions.”

Matagorda Bay is the 30th location to establish a Physical Oceanographic Real Time System. The NOAA PORTS program has improved navigational safety across the United States by working with local partners to establish integrated systems of sensors that provide accurate and reliable real-time information about environmental conditions.

Mariners can access data from the current meter here.

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