The Greater Lafourche Port Commission used Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) funds to create an integrated Maritime Domain Awareness System to protect against threats to the port and assist in emergency response operations.
Lafourche Parish in South Louisiana contains a significant portion of the United States’ oil infrastructure—including Port Fourchon, which
services roughly 20 percent of the Nation’s oil supply and 75 percent of off-shore oil exploration and drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. To protect this critical infrastructure, the Greater Lafourche Port Commission created the C-4 (Command, Control, Collaboration, and Communications) Maritime Domain Awareness System.
Port Fourchon developed the system after identifying the need for an integrated platform to adequately address the threats and hazards that it faced. The Commission worked with local public and private stakeholders—including the police department, parish emergency response personnel, and private sector partners—to design and develop the C-4 system.
The C-4 system integrates multiple video, radar, weather, and law enforcement data feeds into a single platform to provide shared operational awareness to Port Fourchon, its local stakeholders, and state and Federal partners. The port uses the C-4 system to assist in incident management, suspicious activity detection and identification, as well as steady- state operations and communications. Additionally the C-4 system allows port officials to model vulnerabilities and run real time “what-if” scenarios where operators review various situations to forecast how each component of the port would react.
After evacuating Port Fourchon and surrounding low-lying areas during Hurricane Isaac in 2012, the port’s staff used the C-4 system to remotely monitor water and flooding levels and estimate damage. Lafourche Parish emergency response officials also monitored the floodgates and levees that protect much of the region. Using this information, officials prepositioned response assets and returned the port to normal operations within three days.
The Lessons Learned Information Sharing program defines Innovative Practice as successful and innovative procedures, techniques, or methods developed and/or implemented by the emergency management or response community to adapt to changing circumstances that others may wish to emulate.
Figure 1. Port Fourchon services roughly 20 percent of the Nation’s oil supply and 75 percent of off-shore oil along the gulf coast.
The C-4 system also assisted response efforts following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Responders and cleanup officials used the system to track and coordinate the deployment of 117 miles of oil containment booms along the coast in Lafourche Parish, helping to protect its fragile ecological environment.
Since 2007, Port Fourchon has invested $10.3 million in PSGP funds to create and maintain the system. The Greater Lafourche Port Commission continually invests in the system to enhance capability and resilience.
Port Fourchon Wins 2013 AAPA Information Technology Award