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Hurricane Response Protocol 2024


The annual 2024 Gulf Inland Waterways Joint Hurricane Team Response Protocol Review will take place on Thursday, May 23, 2024, from 0900 – 1400 at the Port of New Orleans.


A copy of the DRAFT 2024 Joint Hurricane Team Response Protocol is available for review below.


The only significant update from last year is the addition of Appendix 10. 


Appendix 10 provides a generic moveable bridge priority list for the state of Louisiana to guide and inform post-storm recovery efforts.


Fourteen moveable bridges were identified and broken down into two priority categories. 


Each bridge is numbered, in descending order of importance/priority from 1 – 14, based on the bridge’s impact on routine navigation if unable to open for marine traffic. 


Appendix 10 provides baseline information to inform/guide post-storm waterway recovery. 


Every storm is unique and may dictate changes to the priority list depending on actual storm impacts, ongoing operations/activities at the time of the storm, and storm path. 


CLICK HERE for the Gulf Inland Waterways JHT Protocol 2024 FINAL DRAFT





The 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons devastated the Maritime Transportation System (MTS) along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) and Lower Mississippi River (LMR) resulting in an unparalleled level of collaboration, coordination and cooperation between the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and inland marine industry to restore commerce. 

The experience gained in 2004 and 2005 bolstered the pre-existing relationships between the inland marine industry and the various federal and state partners with waterway management and oversight responsibilities during tropical weather events. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the USACE, USCG, and the inland marine industry, via the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association (GICA) and American Waterways Operators (AWO), to capture the spirit of cooperation developed during 2004 and 2005 and established the Gulf Coast Inland Waterways Joint Hurricane Team (JHT).

Early in 2006, the JHT reviewed and codified the hard-won lessons learned from 2004 and 2005 to ensure effective, consistent, safe, and expedient restoration of the inland MTS during future tropical weather events.  Their efforts resulted in the development of the Gulf Coast Inland Waterways Joint Hurricane Response Protocol (a.k.a. the Protocol).  The Protocol addresses the commercially navigable waters of the Lower Mississippi River below Baton Rouge, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and its tributaries.  The Protocol is a living document, reviewed and updated, as needed, under the auspice of the JHT, annually.

GICA maintains the Protocol as the inland marine industry’s primary waterways management representative for the Gulf Coast.  The President of GICA serves as Chair of the JHT, with Co-Chairs including an Eighth Coast Guard District representative and representatives from each USACE Gulf Coast Districts.  The Protocol includes a list of key industry, USACE, USCG and state agency personnel with direct responsibility for hurricane preparedness and response operations including the industry and agency points of contact who participate in the USCG led Port Coordination Team (PCT) and USACE led Navigation Restoration Team calls held pre- and post-storm.

The Protocol focuses on the working relationships, roles, and responsibilities, of the USCG, USACE, NOAA, states, and inland marine industry, partnering together, to safely and efficiently secure the waterways prior to storm landfall and safely restore them as quickly and efficiently as possible post-storm. The Protocol is intended to augment and NOT duplicate or supersede USCG and USACE hurricane response plans.   Applicable portions of the Protocol may be included in hurricane plans maintained by federal, state and local partners.





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