Coast Guard Begins Icebreaking Operations


The Coast Guard launched its ice breaking season Monday, Dec. 16, as winter’s cold temperatures are anticipated to impact every port, waterway, and harbor in the Northeast.

Operation Reliable Energy for Northeast Winters (OpRENEW) 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 the heating oil used in the country, more than 85% is consumed in the Northeast, and 90% of that is delivered by ship via a Coast Guard-maintained waterway.

The Coast Guard’s domestic icebreaking operations are intended to facilitate navigation within reasonable demands of commerce and minimize waterways closures during the winter, while enabling commercial vessels to transit through ice-covered critical channels.

Coast Guard crews are also replacing aids to navigation with special ice buoys designed to ride underneath ice and remain on location. A coordinated effort with the maritime industry ensures the vital ports of the Northeast remain open year-round.


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