NOAA Launches Coast Pilot Disaster Impact Web Site

Wednesday, February 01, 2006
The NOAA Office of Coast Survey has established a special Coast Pilot Disaster Impact Web site to help speed the recovery efforts of 21 significant port facilities in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The purpose of the Coast Pilot Disaster Impact Web site is to help facilitate the recovery efforts by providing a resource for port facility managers to send critical information to NOAA's Coast Survey. The information received will be promptly evaluated and posted on the Web site where mariners can quickly access the most current information available regarding the impacted ports. The Web site will remain active until all impacted ports have fully recovered. Nearly five months after Katrina and Rita made landfall, ports along the Gulf coast and channels on the Mississippi River are still finding obstructions in the water and new areas of shoaling that can damage or ground passing vessels. NOAA, the federal agency responsible for providing the nation's nautical charts, has played a key role in a major interagency effort to ensure that navigational areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are safe for transit.

The Web site data will include information on: pilotage, channel, side and approach depths, anchorages locations, obstruction hazards, bridge information, storage and supply facility information, overhead or surface bottom cabling, small craft facilities, status of wreck removals, and wharf information. NOAA will use this information for updated reports and to update nautical charts where necessary. The Office of Coast Survey publishes a suite of nine Coast Pilot books covering the entire United States coast. These books contain important information about port facilities, channel depths, and hazards to navigation. This information is often drastically altered by a disaster such as a hurricane and it changes again as the port recovers. The Web site will make these changes available rapidly online.

Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

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