NEW YORK, Aug. 31, 2011 -- Crews aboard the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' New York District's three drift-collection vessels have been working to clear drift and debris from the waters in and around the New York and New Jersey Harbor after Tropical Storm Irene.

While the mission happens all year, Irene brought storm surge, heavy winds and lots of rain to the region over the weekend and Army Corps crews have been working hard to gather the additional drift that may be in the New York and New Jersey Harbor following the storm to ensure safe navigation.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel aboard DCV Gelberman worked to secure large pieces that broke off of an old pier in the busy Erie Basin (pronounced like the Great Lake) in Brooklyn.

Large objects like those that broke off the pier are one of the potential hazards to navigation the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' drift-collection vessels remove objects routinely from the waters in and around the New York and New Jersey Harbor to help ensure safe navigation for all kinds of vessels, ranging from small recreation vessels to water taxis, to large container ships and oil tankers.

Large hazards like those broken off the pier could cause damages ranging from piercing a hull to damaging or destroying propellers to potentially causing an environmental hazard like an oil spill or leak. A large piece from the old pier was called into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by the U.S. Coast Guard while drift-collection crews were working after the storm.

The DCV Hayward, a catamaran rigged with a steel net attached to its side to gather debris, also worked the harbor to clear it of potential hazards to navigation. Tuesday morning, the Hayword collected a load of debris weighing about 17,000 pounds.

Page last updated Wed August 31st, 2011 at 00:00