Post Number: 216
|Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 06:25 pm: ||
NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) Office of Coast Survey:
Dates of Latest Editions:
Chart Updater Tool:
U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center:
Local Notices To Mariners:
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Maritime Safety Information Web Site: msi.nga.mil/‎
Chart No. 1:
Domestic Light Lists
American Practical Navigator (Pub. 9 – Bowditch):
Sailing Directions – Enroute
Sailing Directions – Planning
Sight Reduction Tables for Air Navigation (Pub. 249):
Handbook of Magnetic Compass Adjustment:
Post Number: 173
|Posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 10:32 pm: ||
Greetings folks, a discussion by the USCG of the differences between their Local Notices to Mariners and the NGA's Notices to Mariners publications:
While these two documents each contain important safety and general information for mariners and are each released weekly throughout the year, they are published by two different U.S. governmental agencies targeted at two different audiences. The Notice to Mariners (NM) is published by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The Local Notice to Mariners (LNM) is published by each of the nine U.S. Coast Guard Districts.
Who reads each type of Notice to Mariners
The audience for the NM is the deep draft vessel plying U.S. waters or making a port call from overseas. The audience for the LNM is all vessels plying U.S. waters; that is, commercial and recreational, deep and shallow draft, vessels sailing offshore, in harbors, or along the Intracoastal Waterway.
Why is it Important to be Familiar with Both
The coastal waters of the U.S. are in a constant state of change. Channels are dredged and sometimes re-routed; new aids to navigation are established or deleted; new wrecks and obstructions are discovered; natural shoaling occurs in many areas; and new berthing facilities are built along the shoreline. In order for the mariner to transit safely, it is imperative that the mariner be familiar with all available information.
What´s the Source of their Information
Chart update information that is published in the LNM and NMs are derived from a variety of sources. Aid to navigation additions, deletions, and changes usually originate within the local Coast Guard District. Therefore, this information is typically transmitted internally between the Aids to Navigation unit and the LNM unit in a particular Coast Guard District. Since the Coast Guard maintains a network of stations throughout the country, chart update information may be reported directly to these units by a variety of local sources. For example, a Port Authority or a local boating group might bring a chart update item to the attention of the local Coast Guard. The Coast Guard LNM unit will then make a decision concerning whether a chart update should be published.
Over 95 percent of the chart update information that appears in NGA’s NM and the Canadian Notice to Mariners has already appeared in a Coast Guard LNM. Occasionally, a military unit will report a chart discrepancy directly to NGA and not to the USCG or NOAA. In this case, NOAA may first learn about the chart update by examining the NM. Likewise, it is only occasionally, that the Canadian Notice to Mariners contains unique chart update information that pertains to NOAA charts.
The majority of the chart update information that appears in the LNM and NMs first enter the charting pipeline through NOAA. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is responsible for providing NOAA with survey information that pertains to federal channels and waterways. The Corps routinely conducts pre-dredge, condition, and post-dredge surveys in channel areas that serve as the main arteries for our nation’s ports. The latest information concerning depths in these federal channels is extremely important to deep draft vessels. This information is shown on NOAA charts through channel legends, tabulations, and by other means.
Over 25 Corps districts throughout the country provide NOAA with survey information concerning federal channels. NOAA cartographers analyze surveys and other information provided by the Corps in order to determine whether a chart update is required. In most cases, an update is required to notify mariners of the latest channel depths, channel re-configuration, or changes in adjacent depths. NOAA cartographers prepare these chart updates in an electronic form that is readily useable by the local Coast Guard unit responsible for publishing the LNM. NOAA cartographers also provide this information to NGA’s NM and the Canadian Coast Guard if applicable.
Other types of chart update information also enter the charting pipeline through NOAA. The USACE is responsible for issuing construction permits in coastal areas. NOAA receives these permits and monitors construction that ultimately may result in a change to the nautical chart. If the resulting construction is deemed "critical" to the chart, then this information will be provided to the LNM and NMs for inclusion. If the information is not critical, it will not be issued as a LNM or NM, but will appear on the next new edition of the chart. NOAA hydrographic field units and contractors conduct surveys in coastal areas throughout the country. If these field survey units find a critical chart discrepancy, they will report it directly to NOAA cartographers. This information will then be provided expeditiously to the appropriate LNM and NM publications for dissemination to the general public.
NOAA also receives chart update information directly from the recreational boating community. NOAA and the United States Power Squadrons (USPS) have had a partnership for over 40 years. The Cooperative Charting Program enables USPS members to report chart discrepancies by Internet throughout the country. NOAA conducts a similar program with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. If a chart discrepancy report is judged by NOAA cartographers to be "critical", it will be furnished for inclusion in LNM and NMs.
It should be noted that not all chart update information in NOAA’s possession is made available to the public immediately through the LNM and NMs. If new information is deemed "critical", it is always made available to the public through the LNM and NMs in an expeditious manner. However, if new information is not deemed "critical", it will appear only on the next new edition of the chart.
Post Number: 119
|Posted on Thursday, December 04, 2008 - 07:11 am: ||
Greetings folks, a reminder that you can sign up for weekly email delivery of the Local Notices to Mariners as well as Light List updates at:
Post Number: 431
|Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 09:40 am: ||
Greetings folks, the NGA modified its website structure. To get to the Publications section that I list below for Chart #1, Pub 9, etc., the link is now:
http://www.nga.mil/portal/site/maritime/?epi_menuItemID=35ad5b8aabcefa1a0fc13344 3927a759&epi_menuID=e106a3b5e50edce1fec24fd73927a759&epi_baseMenuID=e106a3b5e50e dce1fec24fd73927a759
Post Number: 345
|Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 11:04 am: ||
For those of you who are planning to venture to foreign lands, I would suggest sourcing charts from the hydrographic office of the local government. If they don't have one, other useful sources are:
US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA):
Post Number: 325
|Posted on Monday, January 30, 2006 - 07:31 pm: ||
Greetings, current online versions of useful NOS navigation publications:
Dates of Latest Editions (updated daily-but also see the great tool I talked about in the Paper Charts section):
Dates of Latest Editions (pdf version of the latest quarterly paper edition):
NOS Vector charts in ENC format:
Post Number: 215
|Posted on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 01:23 pm: ||
Greetings All, as most of you may be aware, the USCG has as of March, 2004 ceased mailing Local Notices to Mariners. Its sole distribution channel is via WWW. Further information on this topic as well as links to USCG districts that publish LNTM's is available at:
For those of you venturing to foreign lands, the Federal Notices to Mariners that cover changes to NGA charts and navigation publications such as the List of Lights can be found at:
Even if you don't use NGA charts, the yearly NTM #1 has a wealth of detail that should be of interest to all mariners. It can be found at:
Post Number: 189
|Posted on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 05:46 pm: ||
Greetings All, a link to current versions of the various navigation publication the U.S. Government publishes:
(Note: an updated link is listed in a new post above)
Chart No. 1
Pub 9 The American Practical Navigator
Pub 102 International Code of Signals
Pub 117 Radio Navigational Aids
Pub 150 World Port Index
Pub 151 Distances Between Ports
Pub 1310 Radar Navigation and Maneuvering Board Manual
NGA List of Lights
USCG Light Lists
Sailing Directions (Enroute and Planning sections)
Atlas of Pilot Charts
Pub 249 Sight Reduction Tabless for Air Navigation
Pub 229 Sight Reduction Tables for Marine Navigation
Update: The full copy of the current Light List can be found at the USCG Navigation Center: