BANGOR, Maine -- With rivers in Maine already freezing and another arctic blast on the way, the Coast Guard has been busy making sure residents can stay warm.
On Tuesday, the Coast Guard small harbor tug TACKLE was out on the frozen Penobscot River in Maine, clearing a path in the ice as part of the agency's wintertime ice-breaking efforts along rivers and ports in the northeast.
The missions are part of Operation Reliable Energy for Northeast Winters (RENEW). 85% of all the heating oil consumed in the United States is in the northeast, and 90% of that oil is delivered via ship, according to the Coast Guard.
The ice-breaking efforts ensure those crucial oil deliveries can still occur even when the rivers have frozen over.
"The Coast Guard’s domestic icebreaking operations are intended to facilitate a reasonable expectation of navigability for commercial vessel traffic during ice season and minimize waterway closures by performing regular icebreaking, track maintenance, and escorts when necessary," the Coast Guard said. "Our strong relationships and coordinated effort with the maritime industry ensures the vital ports of the Northeast remain open year-round."