Majuro Wave Buoy Redeployed to Serve Marshall Islands Communities

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 5/5/2016

Contact:
Fiona Langenberger (808) 956-8784; fiona.langenberger@hawaii.edu

Majuro Wave Buoy Redeployed to Serve Marshall Islands Communities

Majuro – The Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) redeployed its wave buoy outside of Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). Located about 0.5 nautical miles (NM) off Delap Point, the yellow wave buoy measures wave height, direction, period, and sea surface temperature in 30 min intervals. All wave information is available online and free of charge. The reinstalled buoy joins the existing PacIOOS network of 13 real-time wave buoys across the Pacific.

Wave buoy data benefit the entire community and are important to make well-informed and safe decisions. Local and regional agency officials, boat operators, and other ocean users can access data online to get the latest observations. Real-time wave data are also vital to inform the community and emergency responders of big wave events that could potentially impact the Marshall Islands.

Through generous partner contributions, PacIOOS was able to fund and redeploy the new wave buoy southeast of Majuro. A previous buoy was lost at sea, most likely due to a vessel collision. Reggie White from NOAA’s National Weather Service Majuro Weather Service Office states, “The PacIOOS wave buoy is one of the RMI’s most important observing tools to assess ocean conditions and to evaluate the need for high surf as well as coastal inundation advisories and warning.” He adds, “As a low-lying nation, we are vulnerable to wave inundation and are dependent on accurate real-time data.”

Zdenka Willis, Director of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), stresses, “We have a strong network of local, national, and international partners in the Pacific Islands region, who have shown their commitment to PacIOOS and its ocean observations. The remote location of the Pacific Islands is unique within the IOOS system and shows how valuable and impactful wave and ocean observations are on a daily basis to make safe decisions. IOOS and PacIOOS are committed to equip Pacific Islanders with the right data and tools to increase community resilience.”

In order to keep the buoy operational, ocean users are asked to stay 1NM off Delap Point to avoid collision and entanglement in the mooring line. Please refrain from tying to the buoy or fishing around it. The coordinates of the wave buoy are listed in nautical charts.

PacIOOS would like to extend a special thanks to NOAA’s National Weather Service Pacific Region Headquarters, the Republic of the Marshall Islands Government via the Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac) of the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology, U.S. IOOS, and an anonymous private donor (via the College of the Marshall Islands) for their financial support to fund the new buoy. Data streaming for the PacIOOS wave buoys is made possible through long-term partnerships with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Coastal Data Information Program.

On the Web

Majuro wave buoy data can be accessed at: http://pacioos.org/wavebuoy/kalobuoy.php To learn more about PacIOOS: http://pacioos.org

About PacIOOS

The Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) believes that ocean data and information can help save lives and resources. In collaboration with its partners, PacIOOS aims to provide sustained ocean observations in order to support decision-making and science for stakeholders who call the Pacific Islands home. Based within the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, PacIOOS is part of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®).

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Environmental Mitigation Revetment Project Update

RMIPA’s Environmental Mitigation Revetment (EMR) Project, previously called the revetment project, is almost a year into its construction phase since the issuance of the Notice To Proceed. The main purpose of the project is to construct a new revetment wall along the existing lagoon coastline from the airport terminal eastward to the water reservoirs, as shown on the photo below.

EMR from above terminal comp

The area was unprotected prior to the implementation of the EMR project. The lack of revetment protection in the area has caused significant erosion due to sea level rise and other environmental factors, not to mention flooding of the existing road during kind tide events.

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Included in the project will be construction of public access ways over the revetment to the beach. This feature was added so that the public can have easy access to the beach. In addition, covered picnic facilities equipped with picnic tables, barbecue and refuse facilities, will also be constructed for the public’s use.

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The contractor for the project is Pacific International Inc. and the construction management services is provided by Beca International Consultants. Ltd.

The current completion date of the EMR is June 2016.

Delap and Uliga Docks Inspection

Earlier in calendar year 2015, the RMIPA engaged the services of LYON Associates and their sub-consultant, Sea Engineering, to performed a complete underwater inspection of both the Uliga and Delap Docks on Majuro Atoll. This inspection included a visual inspection, a removal of growth at the waterline, mid-depth, and mudline at 100-ft intervals along the length of the dock,  and ultra sound thickness and cathodic protection tests for the entire length of both docks. In addition to the underwater inspection, LYON performed an above water inspection of the concrete decking and appurtances along the Uliga and Delap Docks.

The results of the inspections identified various deficiencies along the dock face (at and below the waterline) as well as the top of the dock structure. Here are a couple of some of the underwater deficiencies or damages.

Uliga Dock

Delap Dock Impact

The RMIPA will soon issue a tendering notice for the repairs of the docks. “It is our intention to bid out the entire repair works as one package but with a phasing plan prioritizing each repair, from most to least urgent,” RMIPA Director Jack Chong-Gum said. The tendering approach should result in a possible reduction in overall repair costs.

Wall Repairs and Security Fence Project Update

Work is underway to install a new TSA-compliant security fence on the ocean side of the runway at Amata Kabua International Airport. The fence design was changed to aluminum chain link due to the corrosive environment of the island. This should ensure an extended life for the fence and that minimal maintenance is performed on the fence. The length of the new fence is approximately 8700 feet.

An additional component of the project is to effect repairs to the concrete wall, also located on the ocean side of the runway. Back in June of 2013, sections of the concrete wall were destroyed by huge waves during a king tide event. “When these sections fell down, a lot of debris and sea water covered the runway, which forced the RMI Ports Authority to temporarily shut down the airport due to safety reasons,” said RMIPA Director Jack Chong-Gum.

Both the fence installation and wall repairs are currently scheduled for completion in early May 2016, provided there are no unforeseen issues come up during the construction. Updates will be posted as necessary.

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The contract for the project is Pacific International Inc. AECOM is the consulting firm selected to oversee construction activities of the project.

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Mission Statement

To contribute to the economic and social development of the Republic of the Marshall Islands by establishing, maintaining and managing efficient commercial airport and seaport facilities

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