The Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study (2011)
In order to provide safe access routes for the movement of vessel traffic proceeding to or from ports or places along the eastern seaboard of the United States, the Coast Guard conducted an Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study (ACPARS) to evaluate the continued applicability of, and the need for modifications to, current vessel routing measures.
The goal of the Atlantic Coast PARS was to enhance navigational safety by examining existing shipping routes and waterway uses, and, to the extent practicable, reconciling the paramount right of navigation within designated port access routes with other reasonable waterway uses such as the leasing of outer continental shelf blocks for the construction and operation of offshore renewable energy facilities.
Virginia's Offshore Wind Industry Development:
The Coast Guard initiated the ACPARS, in part, because of efforts to advance offshore renewable energy initiatives; such as wind energy projects. VMA supports the development of an offshore wind energy industry in Virginia, which will complement and diversify Virginia's already robust maritime industry.
A strong wind industry will attract additional wind related waterborne commerce through Virginia's port and present new business opportunities for our ship repair companies and other maritime interests well suited to service this new industry.
However, as we move forward with wind energy projects off the coast of Virginia, care must be exercised to ensure those projects do not conflict with the current or future needs of commercial navigation.