2020 December 24 11:27

Coast Guard Northeast ice breaking season underway

The Coast Guard has launched its ice breaking season, as winter’s cold temperatures are anticipated to impact every port, waterway, and harbor in the Northeast throughout the coming months.

Operation Reliable Energy for Northeast Winters (RENEW) is the Coast Guard’s region-wide effort to ensure Northeast communities have the security, supplies, energy, and emergency resources they need throughout the winter.

Of all the heating oil used in the United States, more than 85 percent is consumed in the Northeast, and 90 percent of that is delivered by ship on a Coast Guard maintained waterway.

The Coast Guard’s domestic icebreaking operations are intended to facilitate a reasonable expectation of navigability for commercial vessel traffic during ice season and minimize waterway closures by performing regular icebreaking, track maintenance, and escorts when necessary.

Coast Guard crews are currently busy replacing the familiar aids to navigation with special ice buoys designed to repel ice accumulation and withstand the immense pressure flowing ice exerts on stationary objects in waterways, ensuring Northeast aids to navigation remain lighted and on station.

Without the efforts of the Coast Guard icebreaking fleet and the excellent support from our maritime industry partners, it would be nearly impossible to provide dependable energy deliveries to the Northeast in winter. Our strong relationships and coordinated effort with the maritime industry ensures the vital ports of the Northeast remain open year-round.