US: NOAA and the US Power Squadrons, a non-profit organisation dedicated to safe boating, have renewed a 50-year commitment to a cooperative charting programme that helps to update the nation’s thousands of navigational charts.
Under the voluntary programme, formalised by a Memorandum of Agreement, members of the US Power Squadrons scan water and land areas, looking for changing conditions that may not be reflected on NOAA nautical charts. Power Squadrons members 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 US waters,” said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey . “The cooperative charting programme, originally formalised in 1963, continues an extremely cost-effective method for correcting chart errors that are the result of constantly changing coastlines and seafloors.”
Over the last ten 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 a variety of information important to coastal and Great Lakes navigators. More than 4,000 members have submitted reports, adding their particular 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 organisation and a federal agency,” says John Alter, chief commander of the US Power Squadrons. “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.”