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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 14, 2006

Contact: Ben Sherman
(301) 713-3066

 

NOAA OFFICE OF COAST SURVEY, NATIONAL MARINE PROTECTED AREAS CENTER PARTNER TO ENHANCE SAFE NAVIGATION IN ALASKA WATERS

New Coast Pilot Publication Highlights Areas Off Alaska’s Southeastern Coast

In order to promote safe navigation and enhance marine conservation, NOAA's Office of Coast Survey and the National Marine Protected Areas Center have partnered to publish key information about the location, purpose, and permitted activities of existing marine managed areas off Alaska's southeastern coast in the United States Coast Pilot Volume 8. The U.S. Coast Pilot is used by the maritime industry, fishermen, the military, recreational boaters, and other coastal users of sensitive marine ecosystems.

The southeastern Alaska edition includes marine managed areas between Dixon Entrance and Cape Spencer. It is the first in a series of Coast Pilot publications being produced for all regions throughout the United States. The other eight books of the U.S. Coast Pilot series will be published over the next year, and contain similar information about marine managed areas. The maritime community relies heavily on the U.S. Coast Pilot and NOAA navigational charts for information about coastal issues relating to safe navigation, access to marine facilities, and environmental regulations.

"By incorporating marine managed areas into the nation's U.S. Coast Pilot series, we are making sure that mariners have access to the most up-to-date information about the use of these areas," said Oren Stembel, chief of the Coast Pilot branch. "This is the first comprehensive effort to include important environmental information about sensitive or protected habitats in the Coast Pilot. NOAA's Office of Coast Survey is looking forward to continuing our partnership with the National Marine Protected Areas Center to help mariners safely navigate U.S. waters, while helping protect our nation’s marine resources."

The U.S. Coast Pilot has been in continuous print by the federal government since 1867. Ships of 1,600 or more gross tons, and large U.S. naval vessels, are required to carry both the U.S. Coast Pilot and the local NOAA charts that pertain to their area of transit. Many smaller vessels also carry both the U.S. Coast Pilot and local NOAA charts, although they are not required to do so.

The U.S. Coast Pilot is a series of nine regional books. Each U.S. Coast Pilot contains a variety of information important to navigators of coastal and intra-coastal waters, and the Great Lakes. Each book also contains supplemental information that is difficult to portray on a nautical chart. Examples of topics covered in each U.S. Coast Pilot include channel descriptions, anchorages, bridge and cable clearances, currents, tide and water levels, prominent features, pilotage, towage, weather, ice conditions, wharf descriptions, dangers, routes, traffic separation schemes, small-craft facilities, and federal regulations applicable to navigation. The marine managed areas project now ensures that key environmental features are described as well.

The mission of the National Marine Protected Areas Center, a division of the NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, is to facilitate the effective use of science, technology, training, and information in the planning, management, and evaluation of the nation’s system of marine protected areas.

The Office of Coast Survey produces hydrographic surveys and publishes nautical charts and the United States Coast Pilot.

In 2007 NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. Starting with the establishment of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. The agency is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts, and protects.

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