U.S. Coast Guard seeks mariner input for Western Rivers study

united states coast guard 

 News Release  


March 16, 2018

U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
Contact: Headquarters Public Affairs
Office: (202) 372-4630
After Hours: (202) 603-3281
Headquarters online newsroom

U.S. Coast Guard seeks mariner input for Western Rivers study


WASHINGTON – The United States Coast Guard is seeking input for a study of navigation requirements for the entire Western Rivers System.


The Coast Guard Waterways Analysis and Management System (WAMS) study will review the Western Rivers Aids to Navigation (ATON) System.


The ATON system on the Western Rivers differs from the U.S. Coastal ATON System due to the unstable nature of the river and channels. The Coast Guard operates this system on the Mississippi River from Upper Mississippi River Mile 857 to Lower Mississippi River Mile 155 and on its tributaries.


The system also includes the following rivers and waterways:

  • Port Allen-Morgan City Alternate Route (Louisiana)
  • That part of the Atchafalaya River above its junction with the Port Allen-Morgan City Alternate Route including the Old River and the New River.
  • The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (Mississippi)
  • Tombigbee River ((Mississippi-Alabama)
  • Black Warrior River (Alabama)
  • Alabama River
  • Coosa River (Alabama)
  • Mobile River above Cochrane Bridge at St. Louis Point
  • Flint River
  • Chattahoochee River
  • Apalachicola River above its confluence with the Jackson River


The rivers and waterways by USCG Sectors:

USCG Sector Lower Mississippi

USCG Sector Upper Mississippi

USCG Sector Ohio Valley

USCG Sector Mobile

USCG Sector Lake Michigan

Arkansas River

Illinois River


Apalachicola River

Chicago River

Atchafalaya River

Minnesota River

Big Sandy River

Flint River

Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal

Canadian River

Missouri River

Clinch River

Chattahoochee River

Des Plains River

Lower Mississippi River

St. Croix River

Cumberland River

Mobile River


Ouachita-Black River

Upper Mississippi River

Green River

Alabama River


Red River

Kaskaskia River

Hiwassee River

Black Warrior


Verdigris River


Kanawha River

Mulberry Fork Black Warrior River


San Bois Creek


Little River

Locust Fork Black Warrior River


Keller Lake


Little Tennessee River

Coosa River


White River


Monongahela River



Pine Bluff


Ohio River



Port Allen-Morgan City Alternate Route


Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway





Tombigbee River





Tennessee River





Emory River





Piney River





Cumberland River




Interested mariners and maritime stakeholder can provide input at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WRWAMS.


The survey will be available until July 1, 2018.


In addition to reviewing input from the survey, the WAMS study will analyze cargo data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterborne Statistics Center. Automatic Identification System (AIS) marine traffic data will also be analyzed and compared with environmental conditions, such as ice and water levels.


The Western Rivers study is the third of a series of U.S. Coast Guard navigation systems reviews. The first study identified requirements for the Atlantic and Gulf Seacoast and the second study is reviewing navigation requirements for the Pacific Seacoast and Islands.


Through these system-wide navigation studies, the U.S. Coast Guard is reviewing its nation-wide policy on the use of ATON and delivery of Marine Safety Information to promote the safety of future maritime transportation and commerce on U.S. navigable waters.