Waterfront News 2010-2011 academic year

August 2011  "Flying Fish Too"
Waterfront Operations runs full speed ahead even when classes are out!  In preparation for the new school year and a mandate that all academic classes must work vessel time into their curriculum we have purchased and refit a 60ft by 20ft vessel capable of traveling up to 100 miles offshore.  This vessel will augment the Earl Milan and be capable of carrying 38 persons for extended range trips.  Her top speed of 20kts and her large aft deck make the vessel very suitable for academic teaching.  The air conditioned main salon helps as well! This Vessel was purchased for $135,000 using funds designated by the state for Hurricane Ike vessel replacement.
May 2011 - August 2011
Orion Construction of Houston was awarded the contract to perform structural renovation on the Clipper Pier.  Work included replacing the bulkhead on the shore side of the pier.  Rebuilding over 20 damaged piles and deck beams.  Replacing Damaged hand rails and ensuring the extended service life of the entire pier structure.  Including the engineering work involved the budget of $1.6mil was a well needed capital project that will extend the service life of the pier another 25years.  This project was paid for with Tuition Revenue Bonds approved by the Texas Legislature in 2009 after Hurricane Ike.
April 2011
Courtesy of the Galveston Daily News

Living up to the TAMUG motto
By Tom Linton
Published April 4, 2011
Galveston’s Sea Aggies
Tom Linton wrote a series of columns called “Parking with Brigid” about his travels with his dog, Brigid, to state parks, county parks and city parks within Galveston County. In this new series, he searches for little know facts about Galveston’s Sea Aggies.
The motto of Texas A&M University at Galveston — “The ocean is our classroom” — provides a temptation to make a biblical analogy that is too great for me to resist.
“They that go down to sea in ships, that do business in great waters: These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep” (Psalms 107).
And so those who are the brightest and best are encouraged to come to TAMUG as students to learn of “wonders in the deep.”
However, they, like Moses, might only see but not have the opportunity to enter that “promised land.”
Well, that is in the process of being changed.
In 2008, Hurricane Ike provided the opportunity to make this change by essentially destroying the university’s small boat facility — both boats and docks.
These are now being rebuilt or replaced to accomplish “a new mission: to provide TAMUG with vessels for research, training and recreation.”
There are a couple of vessels that will be added that were not present in the pre-Ike fleet — one of which may remind you of Little Toot, the Disney animation, that mischievous little tugboat that didn’t give a hoot. It did, however, come good in the end.
Little Toot will be used primarily by the Texas Maritime Academy to train cadets in the art of maneuvering an inland river tow.
This vessel will be fully outfitted with all the equipment of a standard river towboat. It will be mated with a similarly scaled barge so that the handling characteristics mimic a full sized tow.
The barge will be outfitted with training gear and research gear to serve double duty as liquid cargo simulator and a data-gathering platform.
A second addition is what will truly be a floating classroom. This new multipurpose vessel will be used for academic teaching, training, research and recreation. The size of the vessel, 60 feet by 19 feet, will enable it to be used not only inshore but near offshore as well.
The vessel will be outfitted with an A-frame and terrestrial navigation system to allow for multiple uses.
One of the professors at TAMUG is famous for his class in which, when instructing about poetry and music, he gives firsthand exposure to sea chanteys, which he sings while providing the musical accompaniment by playing a guitar. Most would agree that such a “lesson” would better be taught from the back deck of the floating classroom.
This vessel will also play an important role in the nationally famous Sea Camp program that is conducted on the TAMUG campus each summer as well as other youth-related programs offered at TAMUG.
These programs are a natural complement to the extensive research programs that are ongoing there as well.
This program has additional benefits: it offers a living, learning community for freshmen in which they will become familiarized with the Galveston maritime community and upon completion of the program be certified recreational boat operators.
Every student who attends TAMUG, regardless of their major, will have the opportunity to go boating.
And, so, the individual who comes as a student to TAMUG will possess a quality education but also will have experienced what Kenneth Grahame advised in “The Wind in the Willows”: “There is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
It can even make school seem like fun.

Tom Linton is a longtime member of the Friends of Galveston Island State Park. He recently was made a member of the Texas Outdoor Writers Association.
March 2011
Friday Fishing Trips for Spring
It's that time of year again! Time to grab your poles and head to the water.  Fishing starts again on Friday 03/11/2011 and will run to the end of the semester.
See Flyer Fishing Flyer 2011.pdf
Sign up in office of student life.
February 2011
Kelso Marine has begun construction of the new boat ramp and has completed dredging of the Marina.  This project will include the instalation of face boards and cleats on the new bulhead.  A new protected boat ramp and fixed pier.  This project is slated to be completed by May, 2011.
December 2010 R/V Earl Milan dry dock and USCG inspection
The R/V Earl Milan was hauled out of the water for her two year U.S. Coast Guard dry dock examination.  While out of the water the bottom was cleaned, the propellers checked for balance and pitch and the interior and exterior of the hull were inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard for corrosion and damage. The inspection proceeded without a discrepancy noted and the vessel was refloated and will be back in service and recertified for the Spring 2011
December 2010
Waterfront Capitol Improvement Project updates:
               The contract for the renewal of the floating docks, the construction of a fixed bulkhead, and the replacement of the north bank shore protection and landscaping has been completed.
We have recently awarded a bid to Kelso Marine Services to perform the 2nd phase of the marina reconstruction.  They will be starting in January with the dredging of the marina, a new boat ramp, fixed pier, and other miscellaneous projects.
In accordance with phase two of the overall project we have hired LEAP engineering to perform structural, mooring and services analysis of the pier and to create the construction plans to be able to bid the repair work to the Clipper Pier.  We are pleased to be ahead of schedule with that project and hope to have the repair work needed out to bid by the middle of February 2011.
November 2010
As per our fleet realignment goals TAMUG has sold the old rese arch vessel Roamin’ Empire.  This vessel came to us in 1988 and was used primarily for near coastal research.  Her age, small size and limited facilities were factors in the decision to auction her off.  We are currently in the process of acquiring another vessel more capable of suiting our needs.  We wish the vessel well in her new endeavors as a hotshot service boat to service the Galveston anchorages
September 10 - December 3, 2010
Fishin-N-Fiddlin '10 -- Friday Fishing Trips and Free Bay Fishing Tournament -- every Friday except November 26 (weather permitting)
See the Fishing Flyer for details.
July 6, 2010
Despite recent reports about tar from the Deepwater Horizon Disaster reaching the Galveston Bay area, Waterfront Operations continues to provide regular services.  The Waterfront Operations Director and staff will continue to monitor the situation.  There have been no changes to schedule or procedures as of this posting.
June 7, 2010
The 25th summer of Sea Camp fun has begun in great fashion. Sea Campers have converged on the water front at Texas A&M University to explore the marine estuaries and coastal wetlands that surround us. Every day until August the Waterfront Operations staff will host these campers onboard our floating classroom the Earl Milan. Sea Campers will be involved in exploring the tiny creatures in the bottom mud of Galveston Harbor. They will use an otter trawl to gather fish and other pelagic specimens to examine and understand what marine life lives in the water. As an added bonus they get to tour a great harbor that showcases the workings of one of the busiest ports in the United States.
March 29, 2010
On March 24, 2010, Sullivan Land Services and subcontractor Piling Inc. mobilized their construction equipment to begin re-construction and improvement of our Small Boat Marina.  They began by removing the fixed decking on all of the old finger piers in preparation for the pilings to be removed and replaced.  Most of the old pilings are at the end of their service life and are being replaced by an upgraded system.  Following repositioning of the concrete piles the new aluminum floating dock system will be installed.  It will be a slightly larger than what Hurricane Ike destroyed.  It will be of a heavier duty construction to hopefully survive an Ike-sized storm.  Construction of those docks will begin on Wednesday, March 31, 2010.  In conjunction with the new docks the north bank of the marina will be re-graded and covered in new ACB concrete matting to ensure the slope is stable and looks good.  At the top of the bank will be a row of palm trees and several patios for  picnic tables and benches. Construction is progressing rapidly and major changes should be visible within the next few weeks.  The project will be completed in time for the dedication of the Ocean and Coastal Studies Building in October.
March 8, 2010
Several vessels from Waterfront Operations at TAMUG are completing a two week study of Galveston Harbor and its approaches by a hydrographic research company called Sea Engineering. This company is responsible for several types of sea floor and related research projects.
They have been contracted by United Research Services a subcontractor to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to research the Galveston ship channel and study different ways of sediment transport. They will be testing currents throughout the channel as well as the wave patterns that are produced by not only wind but also the wakes that ships create. By studying these current patterns, they can then study the transport of sediments in and out of the channel. As ships pass by on a daily basis, they create a substantial amount of wake causing sediments on the ocean floor to move. The study will explore if those sediments settle back to where they were or if they are pushed along by the currents. The goal is to devise better dredging plans for the future.
The study will involve devices placed the ocean floor to measure the movements of the currents and sediments. Our vessels will conduct roving scans using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler to provide detailed data to the study engineers. That data will be interpreted to create computer models for the Army Corps of Engineers.
The funding for this study was provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - commonly referred to as the Stimulus Package - which is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009.
February 4, 2010
Big changes are underway on the waterfront.  Sullivan Land Services (SLS) has started reconstruction of the boat basin and surrounding area.
We have approved a plan to rearrange the floating docks and to repair the existing fixed docks.  SLS has ordered the prefabricated aluminum truss dock system and we expect to take delivery in about eight weeks.  SLS will be renewing and replacing the concrete articulating mat; commonly called revetment on the north and east side of the marina.  Already completed is the removal of the remaining footings for the old boat basin compound that was damaged during Hurricane Ike.  Work will commence shortly on the renovation of the existing piers.
All of the landscaping will be developed and planted in harmony with the new science building and its grand debut later this year.  SLS has re-graded the area and installed eight new Sabal Palms to brighten up the area.
Thanks to the Texas Maritime Academy Corps of Cadets the Lifeboat Station has been officially inducted into the Aggie community with a fresh coat of maroon paint.
January 4, 2010
The waterfront operations department is pleased to announce that Captain Shawn Clark will be joining the operations team.  He is a 100 ton master with experience in marine mechanical and electrical repairs.  His previous experience in offshore charter fishing and running his own small marine construction and salvage business will be a great addition to the capabilities of the Waterfront Operations Department.