Author: Rich Miller

Brownwater News May 2021

Bridge fracture delays more than 1,000 barges on Lower Mississippi A fractured beam on a highway bridge spanning the Mississippi River at Memphis, Tenn., caused a three-day closure of the waterway that delayed towboats handling more than 1,000 barges. The…

Brownwater News April 2021

Engineers give inland waterways infrastructure grade of D+ Shipping delays caused by deteriorating infrastructure on the nation’s inland waterways cost up to $739 per hour for an average tow, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), which gave…

Brownwater News March 2021

AWO offers assistance for mariner vaccinations The American Waterways Operators (AWO) is making a letter available to its members to assist eligible mariners and other essential industry employees when they visit COVID-19 vaccination centers across the country. The letter verifies…

Brownwater News February 2021

Coast Guard confirms mask mandate for towing industry In a Feb. 8 post on its Maritime Commons website, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that a recent order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires that operators of…

Brownwater News January 2021

AWO applauds Jones Act provision, other items in new defense bill Overriding President Trump’s veto, Congress enacted the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Jan. 1, delivering to the domestic maritime industry one of the most significant legislative victories in…

Brownwater News December 2020

AWO, coalition urge vaccine access for essential transportation workers The American Waterways Operators (AWO) has joined 10 other transportation groups to urge Congress to ensure access to the COVID-19 vaccine for the nation’s essential transportation workers. In a Dec. 9…

Brownwater News November 2020

Illinois Waterway locks reopen for barge traffic All locks on the Illinois Waterway have reopened for commercial navigation after extended closures this year for “significant” repairs, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced in late October. The Illinois Waterway, which…

In memoriam: Susan Buchanan

Maritime journalism lost a valuable member of its community with the passing of Susan Buchanan, 67, on Nov. 22, 2019.


It took more than nine years, but Canada has taken delivery of the first ship constructed under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

Brownwater News, October 2019

AAPA faults funding cut in port infrastructure program Port executives from across the United States gathered in Washington, D.C., in late September to voice their legislative concerns, among them a decrease in funding for the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development…

As oil stabilizes, Gulf yards look to turn the page

Is this finally the bottom? That’s the question being asked along the U.S. Gulf Coast, where nearly four years after the global oil market collapse, demand for new offshore vessels remains virtually non-existent.

GAO faults Navy’s overruns, deficient work

The push in Washington for a 355-ship Navy is alive and well, but a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has cast doubt on the possibility of the service reaching that goal due to ballooning acquisition costs and “poor outcomes.”


Most scientists concur that climate change is affecting the Earth’s oceans, impacting weather patterns and aquatic species in the process.

TWIC cards get security facelift

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has updated the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), incorporating additional security features in a new design.

Brownwater News, March 2018

Coast Guard tables Hudson River anchorage proposal The U.S. Coast Guard has decided to take no action on a shipping industry proposal to establish 10 new anchorages along the Hudson River, effectively tabling the plan in the face of opposition…

DC push brings new hope for 355-ship Navy

The changing of presidential administrations has brought a lot of uncertainty to the federal budget process, with President Trump’s public support of programs often tempered by contradictory realities when the rubber hits the road.


While newbuilds in the research sector during the past year didn’t rise to the scale of USNS Maury, a 353-foot survey ship delivered to the Navy in 2016 by VT Halter Marine, there was activity involving smaller vessels at nearly a dozen North American yards.

New workboat replaces venerable NASSCO yard tug

When it came time to replace the venerable Mr. Ed, a yard tug that has served General Dynamics NASSCO for more than 35 years, there was no need to reinvent a proven performer — a couple of tweaks here, an equipment upgrade there and cleaner-burning engines filled the bill.