NOAA Invites Public Comment on the National Charting Plan

In February, the NOAA Office of Coast Survey released a draft of “The National Charting Plan: A Strategy to Transform Nautical Charting.”

NOAA is currently seeking public comment on the draft.

Through midnight on June 1, 2017, all nautical chart users—from professional mariners and recreational boaters to data providers and navigational equipment manufacturers—are invited to review the plan and provide feedback.

Here’s what you need to know:

The National Charting Plan lays out a strategy to make improvements to NOAA’s entire suite of nautical chart products—with the goal of providing customers with products that are more useful, up-to-date, and safer to navigate with.

According to NOAA, the plan includes services and products that will be changed or discontinued, and the introduction of completely new products and services optimized for modern technology and techniques.

It’s worth noting that the plan is a comprehensive strategy to improve all charts—and does not cover maintenance of individual charts.

In soliciting user feedback on the plan, NOAA states that while some changes have already begun (like improving the portrayal of wrecks on electronic navigational charts), other changes (like the possible conversion of charted depths from feet and fathoms to meters) are being evaluated.

Want to give your input about the changes discussed in the plan? See the Federal Register Notice to download the plan and to get directions on how to submit your comments.

Just remember, the deadline is midnight June 1, 2017!

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