Improving the accuracy of NOAA Charts and Publications
The Nautical Chart Update Pilot Project is an opportunity for individuals and local groups, such as boating clubs, to help evaluate and improve information on NOAA ENC. The effectiveness of this pilot project will be evaluated for effectiveness over the next year, after which a decision will be made as to the program’s future.
Citizen scientists are encouraged to submit annual reports addressing a specific ENC or area. These reports will be evaluated by NOAA cartographers for potential chart updates. The report may be assembled and submitted anytime during the boating season. At the end of the year, citizen scientists, who have submitted ENC updates may choose to be recognized on our website.
Some updates can only be identified from a boat. However, many features such as shoreline and landmarks, can be investigated by using NOAA’s ENC Viewer to examine the charted information overlaid on satellite imagery. Instances where the ENC does not match the imagery can be easily seen and reported. Citizen scientists can also make observations though other means or can report information found via the internet or other sources.
Hydrography and Critical Corrections
These are “on the water” issues that have the potential to cause groundings or are otherwise hazardous to marine navigation.
Any critical danger to navigation detected by citizen scientists should be reported immediately through ASSIST, NOAA’s stakeholder engagement and feedback tool.
Aids to Navigation
Updates to private aids to navigation (ATONS) can be included in reports to NOAA. However, the report should not include USCG ATONS. ANY USCG ATONS should be reported immediately to the local USCG.
Note any major changes in the natural and manmade shoreline, such as piers, docks, platforms, and jetties.
A landmark is any fixed natural or artificial object, generally on land, which is prominent from seaward and can be used in determining a vessel's direction or position. Landmarks include tanks, towers, stacks, buildings, and other prominent objects. Landmarks do not include ATONS or any other objects expressly erected for navigational purposes.
Updates to the Coast Pilot
Discrepancies in the Coast Pilot may also be reported. These 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, and small-craft facilities.
More instructions are included with the ENC Update report Template.