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The Future of Federal Aid to Navigation

On February 4th a subcommittee for the U.S. House of Representatives met to discuss federal aid for use towards navigation programs.  As the U.S. economy continues to grow, navigation activities by the U.S. Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and other related departments become more intricate and important for U.S. security.

Summary of Proceedings

Excerpt of Dr. Larry Mayer’s Testimony:

“While with the proper collection of data, we can map and display seafloor depths in remarkable detail, the critical issue for safe navigation is really the distance between the seafloor and the bottom of the vessel. Over most of our coast, this distance is constantly changing as the tides come in and out. Yet our charts are static products showing depths depicted in the safest way possible–for lowest tides–which can often constrain the mariner. Instead, we envision the chart of the future as a dynamic product that is “tide aware.” The chart will receive NOAA tide data through the AIS system and update itself to display the actual under-keel clearance at a given time and location. The “tide-aware” chart can also be a very valuable tool for the pre-tip planning as one could easily plan a route and clearly see where difficulties may be encountered and modify the trip-plan accordingly.” – Dr. Larry Mayer