Vessel Traffic Service - Lower Mississippi River
The Vessel Traffic Center is located in a high rise office building in the New Orleans Central Business District. VTS LMR is a component of the Waterway Division of USCG Sector New Orleans. VTS Lower Mississippi River manages vessel traffic on one of the most hazardous waterway in the United States due to the complexity of the marine traffic and the powerful currents of the Mississippi River. Its area of responsibility spans from twenty miles above the Port of Baton Rouge (Mile 255 above the Head of the Passes) to twelve miles offshore of Southwest Pass Light in the Gulf of Mexico. Within this VTS service area the VTS monitors the Eighty One Mile Point Regulated Navigation Area (Mile 187.9 to Mile 167 Ahead of Passes) and the New Orleans Harbor Sector (Mile 106 to Mile 88). The VTS provides advisory and navigational assistance services at all times in these areas of responsibility. When the river reaches high water levels of eight feet in New Orleans, the VTS controls traffic at the Algiers Point Special Area (Mile 93.5 to Mile 95). VTS Lower Mississippi River is a unique Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service because it maintains advisory service and direct control of vessel traffic with a workforce of highly trained and experienced civilian Coast Guard personnel with the assistance of pilot advisors.