Press Release Article


Date: Aug 04, 2003
Press Release Number: 103-2003

A 9-year-old program that provides critical navigation data on tides, weather, depths and currents needed to safely maneuver ships in and out of the Port of New York and New Jersey will continue under an agreement approved by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners.

The Port Authority will extend an agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on behalf of the states of New York and New Jersey, for its continued operation and maintenance of the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System, or PORTS, for an additional year at an estimated cost of $190,000. Funds for this contract were released by New York and New Jersey from the Bi-State Dredging Fund.

PORTS uses sensors, communications lines and communications software to generate maritime navigation data every six minutes to assist ships traveling in and out of the New York-New Jersey port. It provides continuous information to the harbor pilots, who are responsible for maneuvering large vessels through the channels.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, \"The amount of cargo moving through our ports continues to grow at a phenomenal rate, which means it is more important than ever that we have the most state-of-the-art resources to help ships safely navigate in and out of our New York and New Jersey marine terminals. Providing ships with accurate, real-time information will allow goods to reach our communities and our families more safely and more quickly.\"

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, \"The current program to dredge New York and New Jersey harbor channels to 45 feet provides a major challenge for large vessels trying to safely navigate their way to terminal berths. PORTS provides vital information that allows mariners to maneuver ships safely around dredging operations.\"

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, \"More than 5,000 commercial vessels and thousands of ferries and pleasure craft traveled in and around the Port of New York and New Jersey last year. PORTS is a critical tool to safely manage vessel activity in the east coast’s busiest harbor.\"

PORTS was installed in the Port of New York and New Jersey in August 1994 under a federally funded program. It has been installed at eight other ports around the country – Houston-Galveston, San Francisco, Los Angeles-Long Beach, Narragansett Bay, Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, Soo Locks in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, and Tampa Bay.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates some of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; the
George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH rapid-transit system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.

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