Kirk MooreKirk Moore
Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been a field editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for almost 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

Death in the Mississippi’s high water

High water has affected barge operators and others. Wild weather and persistent high water on the inland rivers have given workboat operators operational headaches — and a few emergency situations — for much of 2015. This spring it was the occasional tow breaking apart or bulk carrier losing its way. Lately the Mississippi River has been downright treacherous, with currents speeding up and debris rafting downstream. The 61’x24’, 1,000-hp towboat Charlie Boy sank in...

Ferries take shape at Yank Marine

Yank Marine is busy with a pair of ferries for New York. On a slow moving river lined with emerald-green marshes and Atlantic white cedar winding out of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, it’s a surprise to see a boat this big. But there it is, all 109’x26’x6’ of her, the new 400-passenger ferry Molly Pitcher that will soon carry Wall Street workers from Belford on New Jersey’s Raritan Bay shore to New York City. Up in the big shed at Yank Marine Services in Tuckahoe, N.J., the sister ship...

East Coast states battle over offshore energy leases

The debate over Atlantic oil and gas leasing is heating up. With the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management moving closer toward decisions on Atlantic oil and gas leasing, the political competition is heating up among states and coastal communities. Even states with nominal majority support in favor of exploration have significant opposition. This includes South Carolina, where Charleston, Beaufort and other cities with prosperous coastal tourism insist the risks of potential oil and...

New York and offshore wind power

Wind power advances but New York still a fight New York State’s new energy plan calls for 50 percent of energy used in the Empire State to be generated by renewable sources – like solar, hydropower, biomass and wind – by 2050. That has advocates for offshore wind pressing for New Yorkers to embrace offshore wind near Long Island. The environmental group Oceana says the region is particularly well situated with prevailing winds to generate up to 11.6 gigawatts of offshore wind potential...

Sailor employs AIS for world record attempt

Former colleague goes after sailing world record without bothering commercial traffic. Mariners working along the coast from Beaufort, N.C., up Chesapeake Bay to Annapolis, Md., may be seeing a certain small vessel — and in an emergency, its outsized AIS signal. Sailor Robert Suhay of Norfolk, Va. is attempting to outdo his own 2014 “Guinness Book of World Records” title for the longest single-handed voyage in a sailing dinghy, by taking a 14' Laser up the coast 340...

Is it time for new Coast Guard casualty reporting?

There has been more talk about changing Coast Guard marine casualty reporting.   There’s renewed discussion of the need for the U.S. Coast Guard to revise its system for reporting marine accidents, by standardizing the requirements across Coast Guard districts and generating usable, actionable information. It started with Dennis Bryant’s column on the shortcomings of the Coast Guard reporting system. “The majority of its informal investigations are never closed. Those that...

Running with Ribcraft RIBs

Ribcraft gives WorkBoat's associate editor a ride on a Navy RIB. Waiting at the Portland Harbor boat ramp, behind the sailboat and Maine skiff and power catamaran, the 7-meter Ribcraft doesn’t need its gun mount and blue strobe to look military. It’s a 24’x8’8” rigid hull inflatable boat on steroids. The latest iteration by Ribcraft USA, Marblehead, Mass., has pumped up the Navy’s high-speed launch. The Cummins diesels of earlier models are replaced by smaller, lighter Steyr...

Coast Guard must bridge gap on southern tier

The Coast Guard will be stretched further to counter mounting threats from Western Hemisphere drug gangs. Top U.S. Coast Guard officials were back before Congress Tuesday, this time talking about how their already-thin ranks will be spread even thinner to counter mounting threats from Western Hemisphere drug gangs. Those operations in the Caribbean and littoral waters of Central America have other players, ranging from Dutch and French naval units, to local militaries and coast guards...

Following the tug-and-barge industry’s safety model

Can the fishing industry follow the tanker and barge fleet’s model? Five years after the inland and coastal tanker industry’s Jan. 1, 2015, deadline for complying with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, a similar deadline will arrive for commercial fishing vessels. OPA ’90 was, of course, the response to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, and its requirement to retire single-hull barges and go to double hulls came with a 25-year phase-in period. But the benefits were so obvious in...

Pathologists pin dolphin deaths on oil spill

Deepwater Horizon oil spill still creating problems.  In the aftermath of 2010's Deepwater Horizon disaster, it seemed the Gulf of Mexico was seeing an ecological disaster that might continue for generations. Today, along some northern Gulf beaches, you might never guess what happened. State tourism officials in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida report that, so far, 2015 is one of the best tourist seasons seen in years. Part of that could be, finally, a rebound...