Office Of Coast Survey News

16 Mar 2018

New Members Join NOAA’s Hydrographic Services Advisory Panel

(Photo: NOAA)

NOAA acting administrator retired Navy Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., has appointed three new members to the Hydrographic Services Review Panel, a federal advisory committee that gives NOAA independent advice for improving a range of services and products that support safe navigation and coastal resilience. Sean M. Duffy Sr., executive director, Big River Coalition, New Orleans, La. Retired USCG Capt. Julie Thomas, senior advisor, Southern California, Coastal Ocean Observing System, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif.

06 Mar 2018

Coast Guard, NOAA to Include Navigation Rules in U.S. Coast Pilot

The U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have teamed up on a consolidated publication that will help mariners save time and money. The Coast Guard Office of Navigation Systems and NOAA Office of Coast Survey will incorporate the amalgamated International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (72 COLREGS) and the Inland Navigation Rules into NOAA’s U.S. Coast Pilot publications. The U.S. Coast Pilot publications already include the Coast Guard’s Vessel Traffic Service regulations.

23 Mar 2016

Missing Tugboat Found after 95 Years

USS Conestoga at San Diego, January 1921 (Naval Historical Center Photograph)

The USS Conestoga (AT 54) mysteriously vanished without a distress call nearly 100 years ago, with 56 officers and sailors on board. The nation was gripped by the puzzling disappearance. Now, NOAA and the U.S. Navy announced the Navy seagoing fleet tugboat has been found in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off San Francisco, 95 years after its disappearance. Conestoga left San Francisco on March 25, 1921 en route to Tutuila, American Samoa via Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, but never reached its destination.

22 Mar 2016

Cuba, US Sign Memorandum on Maritime Navigation

Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Representatives of Cuba and the United States signed in Havana a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in areas of hydrography and geodesy to improve the safety of maritime navigation. Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, and Col. Candido Alfredo Regalado Gomez, Chief of Cuba’s National Office of Hydrography and Geodesy (ONHG), have signed the MoU. “NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has a strong interest…

12 Jan 2016

Yukon River Charts Produced with Satellite Images

This screenshot shows the western entrance to the Yukon River on ENC US4AK98M. The dotted lines show approximate shoal areas (Photo: NOAA)

Coast Survey has issued provisional charts for barge operators and others traversing Alaska's challenging Yukon River, relying solely on satellite images to create the electronic navigational charts that only display shoreline and shoals (shallow areas). The ENCs, which display no depth soundings, will give the mariners annually updated information to help their navigation along the changeable river. "The Yukon was literally uncharted," Kampia told the group. "After some analysis and brainstorming, we decided to create a prototype ENC using only satellite data.

06 Jan 2016

Remains of Lost 1800s Whaling Fleet Found

Abandonment of the whalers in the Arctic Ocean, September 1871, including the George, Gayhead, and Concordia. This illustation originally ran in Harper’s Weekly in 1871. (Credit: Robert Schwemmer Maritime Library)

NOAA archaeologists have discovered the battered hulls of two 1800s whaling ships nearly 144 years after they and 31 others sank off the Arctic coast of Alaska in one of the planet's most unexplored ocean regions. The shipwrecks, and parts of other ships, that were found are most likely the remains of 33 ships trapped by pack ice close to the Alaskan Arctic shore in September 1871. The whaling captains had counted on a wind shift from the east to drive the ice out to sea as it had always done in years past.

08 Jun 2015

NOAA Deploys Survey Ships for Arctic Charting Projects

NOAA ships spent the last several days preparing for their Arctic missions. Here, Chief Bosun Jim Kruger (front) works with Jason Kinyon and Lindsey Houska on NOAA Ship Rainier as they get ready to depart this week for the summer's first Arctic survey project, in Kotzebue Sound.(Credit: NOAA)

NOAA announced the official launch of its 2015 Arctic hydrographic survey season took place this morning, in Kodiak, Alaska, in a World Ocean Day ceremony which showcased the deployment of the NOAA ships Rainier and Fairweather. “Most Arctic waters that are charted were surveyed with obsolete technology, with some of the information dating back to Captain Cook's voyages, long before the region was part of the United States,” said NOAA deputy under secretary for operations Vice Admiral Michael S. Devany in remarks directed to the crews of NOAA ships.

18 Mar 2015

NOAA to Boost Arctic Nautical Charting

NOAA officers aboard one of the smaller survey vessels contemplate the vastness of the Chukchi Sea during the NOAA Ship Fairweather's reconnaissance survey in 2013. (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA plans increased 2015 Arctic nautical charting operations, coordinating with U.S. As commercial shipping traffic increases in the Arctic, NOAA informs it is taking steps to update nautical charts in the region. NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey will use data collected by two of its own ships, Rainier and Fairweather, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Healy and a private sector hydrographic contractor to cover nearly 12,000 nautical miles in the Arctic for use in updating its navigational charts.

12 Mar 2015

New Lineup for NOAA Hydrographic Services Panel

The Hydrographic Services Review Panel advises NOAA on improving services for navigation and coastal resilience. (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA administrator Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., has appointed six members to the Hydrographic Services Review Panel, a federal advisory committee that gives NOAA independent advice for improving a range of services and products that support navigation and coastal resilience. Capt. “Providing coastal communities, boaters, and the commercial maritime industry with timely, reliable, accurate, and authoritative information is essential as we strive to keep commerce flowing through our nation’s ports,” Sullivan said. Rear Admiral Ken Barbor (ret.), U.S. Lawson W. Capt. Gary A. Scott R.

28 Oct 2014

DEA’s New 82-foot Survey Vessel Commissioned

Blake (Photo courtesy of David Evans and Associates)

David Evans and Associates, Inc.’s Marine Services Division commissioned its new 82-foot hydrographic survey and scientific vessel Blake in a ceremony held in the vessel’s homeport of Gulfport, Mississippi. At the ceremony, U.S. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi broke a Champagne bottle across the Blake’s bow. In addition to remarks by the Senator, Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Coast Survey and the U.S. National Hydrographer, and Mayor of Gulfport William Gardner Hewes spoke to attendees.

22 Sep 2014

NOAA Orders Newbuild Navigation Response Boats

NRT5 surveys the Potomac River

NOAA today announced that Lake Assault Boats of Superior, Wisconsin, will build two small vessels for the Office of Coast Survey's navigation response program, part of a plan to eventually replace all six of the program's small survey boats. The combined cost of both 28-foot vessels is $538,200. "All of the navigation response team survey boats are nearing or have exceeded their designed service life," said Russ Proctor, division chief of Coast Survey's Navigation Services Division.

11 Jul 2014

Nautical Chart Updated for Charleston Harbor

The red lines (not included on the actual chart 11525) show the limits of the old chart.

The new nautical chart 11525 extends eastward, to cover an additional pilot boarding area for vessels headed to the Charleston Harbor. Ships entering the Port of Charleston will have a new and improved nautical chart that covers a larger area to ensure safer navigational approaches into the harbor. Available on the 4th of July, new chart 11525 (Charleston Harbor Entrance and Approach) replaces the old chart 11523 (Charleston Harbor Entrance). It expands chart coverage further east, covering an additional 345 square nautical miles that wasn’t on the old chart.

08 May 2014

NOAA Certifies 11Printers for Paper Charts

Credit: NOAA

Mariners and the boating public have a wider choice of options and special services when they purchase NOAA paper nautical charts, thanks to NOAA's expanded "print-on-demand" chart production and distribution system. Coast Survey has certified eleven chart printing agents who have the flexibility to offer different color palettes, various papers, a cleaner margin, and a range of services. Under the program, NOAA's paper nautical charts are printed when the customer orders them - or "on demand." NOAA creates and maintains the charts…

24 Apr 2014

19th Century Shipwreck Found off Golden Gate Bridge

2013 Multi-beam sonar profile view of the shipwreck SS City of Chester (Credit: NOAA Office of Coast Survey NRT6)

NOAA announced it has found the underwater wreck of the passenger steamer City of Chester, which sank in 1888 in a collision in dense fog near where the Golden Gate Bridge stands today. The announcement was made during a press event at Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary’s San Francisco headquarters at Crissy Field. NOAA’s predecessor agency first located ship in 1890, two years after it sank. The story of City of Chester will be shared with the public in a future waterfront exhibit NOAA will place at the sanctuary office at Crissy Field. The office is the former U.S.

22 Apr 2014

NOAA Begins Hydrographic Survey Season

Photo courtesy of NOAA

New data will update nautical charts around the country. As sure as spring arrives, NOAA vessels and independent contractors are hitting the seas for the nation's 180th hydrographic surveying season, collecting data for over two thousand square nautical miles in high-traffic U.S. coastal waters. "Nautical charts are the foundation for the nation's maritime economy, and NOAA hydrographers spend months at sea, surveying critical areas to ensure safe navigation for the shipping, fishing, and boating communities," said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of the Office of Coast Survey.

21 Apr 2014

NOAA Certifies More Printing Agents

The availability of paper "print-on-demand" nautical charts continues to expand, as NOAA's Office of Coast Survey has added three more printing companies to its roster of certified agents for paper charts. "The most recent printers to join the NOAA paper chart program represent the enduring connections between maritime tradition and progress," said Capt. Shep Smith, chief of Coast Survey's Marine Chart Division. "Companies with histories going back decades, and even centuries, support a firm foundation for the continuing production and delivery of U.S. Iver C. Weilbach & Co.

04 Apr 2014

NOAA's Paper Charts are here to Stay

Rear Adm. Gerd Glang certifies a new print-on-demand chart agent after inspecting the company's sample chart. (Photo: NOAA)

It won't be long before mariners and the boating public will have a wider choice of options and special services when they purchase NOAA paper nautical charts, thanks to NOAA's expanded "print-on-demand" chart production and distribution system, Coast Survey officials announced today. This week, Coast Survey certified new print-on-demand chart printing agents, and gave them the flexibility to offer different color palettes, various papers, a cleaner margin, and a range of services.

03 Apr 2014

Walker Wreck Added to Historic Places Register

An 1852 painting of the Robert J. Walker by W.A. K. Martin. Courtesy of The Mariners' Museum

NOAA announced that the wreck of the ship USCS Robert J. Walker, a steamer that served in the U.S. Coast Survey, a predecessor agency of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Walker served as survey ship, charting the Gulf Coast ‒ including Mobile Bay and the Florida Keys ‒ in the decade before the Civil War. It also conducted early work plotting the movement of the Gulf Stream along the Atlantic Coast. Twenty-one men died when Walker sank in rough seas in the early morning hours of June 21…

25 Feb 2014

NOAA Nautical Charts Now Permanently Free

NOAA’s newest addition to the nautical charting portfolio is the new Portable Document Format (PDF) nautical chart, which provides up-to-date navigation information in this universally available file type. The image above is of the Gulf Coast - Key West to Mississippi River. (Credit: NOAA)

After a three-month trial period, PDF versions of NOAA nautical charts will become a permanent product, free to the public. The free PDFs, which are digital images of traditional nautical charts, are especially valued by recreational boaters who use them to plan sailing routes and fishing trips. The free PDF charts are part of a suite of new and enhanced navigational products designed to make NOAA’s data more accessible to the general public. “Up to date charts help boaters avoid groundings and other dangers to navigation…

14 Jan 2014

Coast Survey to Resove Magenta Line Issues

The Office of Coast Survey has announced that future editions of nautical charts of the Intracoastal Waterway will be updated to include an improved "magenta line" that has historically aided navigation down the East Coast and around the Gulf Coast. Additionally, Coast Survey will change the magenta line's function, from the perceived "recommended route" established more than a hundred years ago, to an advisory directional guide that helps prevent boaters from going astray in the maze of channels that comprise the route.

04 Dec 2013

NOAA Updates New York Harbor Charts Post-Sandy

A NOAA Coast Survey team collected post-Sandy depth measurements in New York Harbor last spring

Ships, barges, ferries, and recreational boats in the busy New York Harbor will be able to navigate more safely thanks to an updated version of the harbor’s nautical chart recently issued by NOAA that includes data gathered in the navigational response to the damage caused by Sandy in October 2012. The latest edition of Chart 12334 – New York Harbor includes new depth measurements and shoreline depictions. “This new chart edition is the first product of a multi-year post-Sandy charting plan,” said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey.

04 Nov 2013

Tell NOAA If You Think the IWR Still Needs the 'Magenta Route'

NOAA Chart 11489 shows the so-called 'magenta line': Image courtesy of NOAA

If you are a recreational boater, fisherman, or another member of the maritime community, NOAA's Office of Coast Survey wants to pick your brain about the "magenta line," which historically depicted the recommended route for the Intracoastal Waterway Route (IWR) on NOAA nautical charts. A recent Federal Register Notice outlines NOAA's options for improving the accuracy of the magenta line, which is presently being removed from new editions of nautical charts. Federal funding does not allow for consistent maintenance of the 3…

28 Oct 2013

NOAA: End of Traditional Paper Nautical Charts

Most mariners now use Print-on-Demand nautical charts that are up-to-date to the moment of printing. (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, which creates and maintains the nation’s suite of over a thousand nautical charts of U.S. coastal waters, announced major changes ahead for mariners and others who use nautical charts. Starting April 13, the federal government will no longer print traditional lithographic (paper) nautical charts, but will continue to provide other forms of nautical charts, including print on demand charts and versions for electronic charting systems. “Like most other mariners…

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