NOAA teams with U.S. Power Squadrons on coastal charts

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Power Squadrons, a non-profit organization dedicated to safe boating, will renew a 50-year commitment to a cooperative charting program that helps to update the nation’s thousands of navigational charts.

Under the voluntary program, formalized by a memorandum of agreement, Power Squadrons members scan water and land areas, looking for changing conditions that may not be reflected on NOAA nautical charts. They submit their reports online and NOAA cartographers review and incorporate changes to their navigation products.

“The partnership between Coast Survey and the Power Squadrons is a long and successful one, speaking to our shared vision of safety on U.S. waters,” Rear Adm. Gerd Glang, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, said in a statement. “The cooperative charting program, originally formalized in 1963, continues an extremely cost-effective method for correcting chart errors that are the result of constantly changing coastlines and sea floors.”

During the last 10 years, Power Squadrons members have submitted more than 28,000 corrections to NOAA’s nautical charts and the United States Coast Pilot, a series of nautical books that cover information important to coastal and Great Lakes navigators. More than 4,000 members have submitted reports, adding their local knowledge to NOAA’s national effort to keep navigation materials accurate.

“I believe that our cooperative efforts with NOAA represent an ideal partnership between a volunteer organization and a federal agency,” Power Squadrons chief commander John Alter said in a statement. “It gives our members a feeling of accomplishment and pride to see their contributions reflected in the latest nautical chart updates and provides a tangible benefit to being a United States Power Squadrons member. This cooperative effort has stood the test of time, and we look forward to our continued commitment to this important civic service.”

Glang will attend the Power Squadrons’ annual meeting on Saturday. Alter will sign a new memorandum of agreement that updates and improves the cooperative charting program.

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