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The NY/NJ Harbor Operation Support System

The New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of Maritime Resources (NJDOT/OMR) is working with Stevens, the Harbor, Safety, Navigation and Operations, Committee, the United States Coast Guard Activities New York, the Safe Wakes Coalition and other entities in the Harbor to address the wake issue from both the water side and the land side. It has become clear that there is no single solution to the problems faced by the various user groups in the Harbor. Ferry operators are modifying their routes, and New York Waterway and New York Water Taxi have installed GPS-based systems that will enable route and speed control.  

More attention needs to be paid to the land side of the issue, including the development of appropriate wave barrier designs and associated permitting regulations to enable the creation of fully-protected marina areas on both sides of the Hudson an absolutely essential step if recreational boating is to achieve its full potential in the metropolitan region. Public outreach and education are also critically important to success.

The Harbor will never be a wake-free environment. It is the host of one of the most important commercial ports in the world; Vessel traffic of all forms will continue to increase. A multi-faceted approach to the wake issue is necessary to ensure that this continued growth in the recreational and commercial use of the waterway will not come at the expense of either boater safety or the safe and efficient transit of cargo and passengers.  

The New York/New Jersey Harbor Operations Support System (HOSS) implements a comprehensive approach to Harbor management. HOSS will build on a recently-initiated Stevens project sponsored by the U.S. Navy for the purposes of port security and environmental monitoring that will include the deployment of permanent wave and current sensors in the Harbor.

HOSS will combine existing and new observing, and forecasting systems to provide:

  • Real-time, secure information regarding present ocean and weather conditions in the Harbor;
  • Continuously-updated forecasts regarding future (out to 48-hours) ocean and weather conditions in the region;
  • Continuous, real-time information regarding vessel wakes in the region, for the purpose of assessing the impact of vessel speed and route modifications;
  • Development of seminars and associated printed materials for use in the training of vessel captains and to create awareness among the recreational boating community.
  • Forecast wave and ice conditions.
  • Continue vessel wake modeling efforts.
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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  March 10, 2006