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    • Five-Year Study on Florida’s Red Tide

      Here is an interesting article on red tide which had a recent bloom in the Big Bend region of the Gulf, see /?p=144423.


      FWC, partners unlock some mysteries behind red tide in 5-year study

      Last month, researchers at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) published new findings on Florida’s red tide organism, Karenia brevis, in a special issue of the scientific journal Harmful Algae. This publication is the culmination of an unprecedented collaboration on red tide research in the Gulf of Mexico led by the FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
      For more on this study, go to:


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    • New Orleans Marinas

      Orleans Marina is the closest marina to the city (read as French Quarter). The South Shore Harbor is down by the airport, a little noisier. Both are on the south side of Lake Pontchartrain.
      Orleans Marina has a grocery store about six blocks away along with a few restaurants in the area. The City Marina is next door to the Orleans Marina and has not been repaired since Hurricane Katrina. Look the Orleans Marina up on Google Map or Earth satellite view as it is a bit tricky getting in the first time. Not hazardous, just huh? What the? Which away?
      Orleans Marina only has about 6 transient berths. They are fixed piers in poor condition.
      Seabrook Marina is on the industrial canal and has a long floating dock on the canal itself about 2.5 miles from Orleans Marina through the gate. However the gate is closed and won’t be reopened until maybe sometime next year.
      So this means if you’re going to Orleans Marina or South Shore Harbour you will head 8 miles up the Rigolets and then 20 miles across the eastern part of Pontchartrain to either marina.
      The Rigolets RR Swing Bridge at the entrance from the ICW and the Highway 11 Bascule Bridge on Pontchartrain will need to be opened.
      If you’re going to Seabrook, then continue on the ICW about 28 miles turn up (north) the industrial canal, get the L&N RR bridge to open and look for the marina on the left about a half mile up. Call on cell when you’re close, they don’t have VHF radio.
      Bob & Kemba DeGroot

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    • Orleans Marina Recommended (in New Orleans and West End Harbor, off Lake Pontchartrain)

      We recommend Orleans Marina on the “West End” just off Lake Pontchartrain. It is in a well protected basin and is relatively close to restaurants, grocery and drug stores and public transportation so you can get to downtown and the sites. There are other places such as Seabrook Marine on the Industrial Canal and South Shore Harbor both in Eastern New Orleans and Oak Harbor in Slidell. However, you will need a rent car from all three of these locations.
      Pam Jenkins
      Godspeed (now home in Slidell, LA)

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    • Important – Inner Harbor Navigation Canal CLOSED in New Orleans

      The heavily industralized “Inner Harbor Navigational Canal” (also known as just the “Industrial Canal” in New Orleans, provides access from Lake Pontchartrain to the lock which leads to the Mississippi River, and points west on the Gulf ICW. Cruisers have to contend with a steeple chase of bridges to make this passage, but it’s still far more direct than the alternative.
      And, with the canal closed (see below), cruisers heading west from New Orleans, or even those east bound, and wanting to reach the marinas on the southern shores of Lake Pontchartrain, will have to traverse the ICW to the Rigolets, cruise through this impressive inlet to Lake Pontchartrain, and then back west across a significant portion of often rough Lake Pontchartrain to reach West End, site of most of New Orlean’s marina facilities.

      Cruising News:
      This is from the USCG’s local notice to mariners:
      Berwick Duval

      Effective immediately, the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal at the Seabrook Bridge will be closed to navigation due to construction of a cofferdam for the Seabrook floodgate structure. The channel will remain closed until approximately the Fall 2011. To ensure public safety during construction, all mariner traffic should avoid the area beginning at the north end Slip No. 6 to the Ted Hickey Bridge. For up-to-date information, mariners are urged to call the construction impact hotline at (877) 427-0345. Attached is the Marine Safety Information Bulletin

      I spoke with the Coast Guard N.O. district, it is the Seabrook Bridge which is closed down for repairs and will be for a long time, according to the USCG about 6 months. This blocks the Industrial canal but the lock and the ICW remain open. So if you are heading east and don’t need to get into the lake you can continue as usual along the GICWW.
      Steve W.

      Beginning September 22, 2010 and continuing through the fall of 2011, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers will be constructing a floodgate structure across the Inner Harbor – Navigation Canal (IH-NC) approximately 540 feet south of the Ted Hickey Bridge, and there will be no marine vessel access to or from Lake Pontchartrain via the IH-NC. Vessels should exercise caution and maintain a safe distance in the vicinity of the construction site, which is identified by light towers and advance warning signs. Additional information can be obtained by calling the Corps of Engineers’ Construction Impacts Hotline at 877-427-0345, U. S. Coast Guard Waterways Management at 504-365-2282 or 504-365-2284, or the Vessel Traffic Center (24 hours) at 504-589-2780.”
      Therefore, to get into Lake Pontchartrain from the Mississippi River or from west of New Orleans, you will have to go around and come in through the Rigolets.
      Coleen Barger

      We keep our boat on the N shore of L Pontchartrain at Mandeville. Actually, going W, the distance is shorter and much faster because of no Industrial Canal bridges going W from the MS Sound and L Borne through the Rigolets and then SW across the lake to W End in NO, as opposed to going through the ICW and Industrial Canal. Going E, the distance is much longer because you have to go E through the ICW into L Borne and then W all the way through the Rigolets then SW across the lake to W End.
      John C. Blackman

      Although the closing may be in-convenient–we never stop in New Orleans. Stop on the Gulf coast the day before and then cross the Mississippi and enjoy one of the anchorages or marinas just on the other side.
      Bob Austin

      Just have a comment to make. From Mobile, Al going west to Padre Island, Texas, bridge and lock tenders were so helpful, unlike those along the east coast. We ran into alot of snotty ones who were just so unhelpful coming down from Baltimore, MD headed to FL. However along Mobile, AL and south every tender was just so nice and most would even open the bridge if you were early. The same can be said about the lock masters, as they were so helpful and seemed genuine in their desire to make your passage safe.
      aboard “Dragonfly”

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To An “Alert” Position at the intersection of Lake Pontchartrain and the northern mouth of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Intersection of the Gulf ICW and the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Intersection of Lake Pontchartrain and the Rigolets

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    • South Shore Harbor Marina (Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans)

      South Shore Harbor Marina is one of the only New Orleans pleasurecraft facilities that is not located in West End Harbor on Lake Pontchartrain. Glad to hear this facility has recovered from the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

      Subject: New Orleans South Shore Marina
      Cruising News: South Shore Marina, east of Lakefront airport, is open for business and has lots of dockage available. We delivered a boat here this week. Permanent slips are fixed concrete docks with adequate outpilings. Continuing construction is completing installation of electric and water to some piers. April 2009 we delivered the second boat to dock at this marina. Seven months later, there are around 150 boats docked here with room for another 100 or so. Nice to see this municipal marina up and running. Bathroom and showers clean. For those of you coming south on your loop cruise, consider cruising an extra 2-3 days west from Mobile to dock in New Orleans and see this town coming back to life again.
      Capt. Wendy Young
      Punta Gorda FL

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