With 3.4 million square nautical miles of U.S. waters to survey and chart, keeping nautical charts current is no small task for NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. With this in mind, substantial effort is put into a program known as Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping (IOCM), where trusted partners can provide high quality, standards-compliant hydrographic survey data for a multitude of uses, including chart creation.
One such partner is the U.S. Coast Guard. Since 2008, NOAA has worked with the Coast Guard in Alaska to improve shipping safety. This year, the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR provided data that will help guide decisions for survey priorities in the ice-diminishing Arctic region.
With the Alaskan coast comprising 57% of U.S. navigationally significant waters, a multi-agency partnership for hydro survey data is necessary for maritime safety in this region. Coast Survey looks forward to continuing its work with the U.S. Coast Guard partners, and hopes to expand the IOCM concept to other Coast Guard vessels that have survey capability in the Arctic.
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