OREGON – WASHINGTON – IDAHO – Farewell to traditional nautical charts
NOAA is in the process of “sunsetting” or ending the production of traditional paper charts. However, even prior to traditional chart production ending, users may notice differences between paper charts and ENCs. There are two broad categories of data that are applied onto NOAA ENCs and paper / raster nautical charts – "Critical Corrections" and "Routine" data. Critical Corrections may be newly discovered shoals or other dangers to navigation, as well as changes in the positions or characteristics of aids to navigation (buoys, beacons, and lights). These are typically changes that are published by the Coast Guard in the weekly LNM. Critical corrections are applied to ENCs first, then applied to paper and raster nautical charts. These changes generally appear on both product types (raster and ENC) within a week of each other. However, new Routine source data are now ONLY applied to NOAA ENCs and not to traditional paper / raster nautical charts. Routine data includes the results of ordinary hydrographic and shoreline surveys, which could be extensive. Any specific dangers revealed during routine surveys are extracted from the data and classified as Critical Corrections to be applied to all products. For more information visit NOAA’s website: https://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/charts/farewell-to-traditional-nautical-charts.html
Cancellation of NOAA Paper and Raster Nautical Charts
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is undertaking a multi-year program to end production and maintenance of its suite of over 1,000 traditional paper nautical charts and all associated raster chart products and services, including: Print-on-Demand (POD) paper nautical charts, Full-size chart PDF files, BookletChart™ PDF files, NOAA raster navigational charts (NOAA RNC®), the NOAA RNC tile service, and the online RNC viewer. Six months notice of the intent to cancel a specific chart is provided in a “Last Edition” notice. The final cancellation of a chart is made in a “Canceled” notice. Both types of notices will appear in LNM Section IV, “Chart Correction.” A comprehensive list of all canceled NOAA charts is available at: http://www.charts.noaa.gov/MCD/Dole.shtml. Traditional paper nautical chart production is ending to enable the creation and maintenance of larger scale, more up-to-date, higher quality coverage of NOAA’s electronic navigational chart (NOAA ENC®) product. This will significantly enhance the amount of charted detail available to mariners. More information about NOAA’s program to sunset traditional paper charts is on the NOAA Coast Survey website at: https://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/charts/farewell-to-traditional-nautical-charts.html. An online NOAA Custom Chart application at: https://devgis.charttools.noaa.gov/pod is available to create chart images from ENC data, which may then be printed. Notices to Mariners will not be issued for NOAA Custom Charts.
Marine Events in Oregon, Washington Idaho and Montana.
Holding a Marine Event? As stated in 33 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Part 100 (33 CFR 100), an individual or organization planning to hold a regatta or marine parade which, by its nature, circumstances, or location, introduces any extra or unusual hazard to the safety of life on the navigable waters of the United States, must have the event approved by the cognizant Coast Guard authority. Sponsors of these events must submit an Application for Approval of Marine Events in accordance with 33 CFR 100.
Click here to complete and submit a "Marine Event Request Form!"
For a list of waterways within the 13th Coast Guard District that are considered navigable for the purposes of exercising Coast Guard authority and jurisdiction contact the Waterways Management Branch.
Timeline for Submission: Applications need to be submitted no later than 135 days prior to the start of the proposed event. If your event meets the following provisions you may submit your permit no later than 60 days prior to the start of the event:
1. The sponsor submitted an application for the same event in the year immediately preceding.
2. The relevant information contained in the previous application is essentially the same.
3. The Coast Guard received no objection to the previous application.
4 The Coast Guard did not promulgate special local regulations for the previous event.
5 The Coast Guard approved the previous event.
Late Applications: For applications received late, if a review of the application shows that a permit is required, and if the permit application cannot be processed in time for the event, the sponsor will be notified that the permit cannot be issued. We review each permit application; therefore, it is critical to include the following information for each event: sponsor name, date and time of event, type of event, location, sponsor's point of contact, on the water and/or on site, and the number of participating and spectator craft. Once your marine event has been approved you will receive a Marine Event Permit Approval Letter from either Sector Puget Sound or Sector Columbia River, which states your permit number and the responsibilities and obligations you have as an event sponsor. Should there be any doubt or questions regarding those responsibilities please notify us so we can clarify them prior to your event taking place.
Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM)
Broadcast Notices to Mariners are made by the Coast Guard through Coast Guard and Navy radio stations. These broadcast notices, which are broadcast on VHF-FM, NAVTEX, and other maritime frequencies, are navigational warnings that contain information of importance to the safety of navigation. Included are reports of deficiencies and changes to aids to navigation, the positions of ice and derelicts, and other important hydrographic information.
>> UPDATE << Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM) now available by E-Mail!
The U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN) has completed its Maritime Safety Information (MSI) project upgrade in the Pacific Northwest to offer Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM) to mariners via e-mail in addition to voice radio broadcasts. The online subscription service is in addition to the standard BNM broadcasts over VHF radio that previously were the only way to receive this vital navigational information. Mariners can now use the subscription service to plan for underway periods and receive updates to navigational hazards in near real time without having to wait on scheduled VHF broadcasts.
Mariners who operate in Oregon, Washington and up the Columbia and Snake Rivers system should visit the NAVCEN website and subscribe for e-mail delivery of BNMs click here.. BNMs are organized by Coast Guard Sector and mariners can subscribe to one, two or all three Coast Guard Sectors within the 13th District area:
- Sector North Bend – the southern and central Oregon coast and rivers
- Sector Columbia River – the northern Oregon coast, southern and central Washington coast, the Columbia, Snake and Willamette Rivers
- Sector Puget Sound – the northern Washington coast, Strait of Juan de Fuca, the San Juan Islands and neighboring straits, Puget Sound and Lake Washington
Additionally, NAVCEN has developed an online BNM archive that is highly filterable and available to the public. 13th District BNMs can be viewed and downloaded from the NAVCEN database click here. For any questions regarding these new services in the 13th District, please contact the office of Waterways Management at (206) 220-7280 or D13-SMB-D13-LNM@uscg.mil.
Local Notice to Mariners (LNM)
Local Notices to Mariners (U.S. regional coverage) are another means by which the Coast Guard disseminates navigation information for the United States, its territories, and possessions. A Local Notice to Mariners is issued by each Coast Guard district and is used to report changes and discrepancies to aids to navigation maintained by and under the authority of the Coast Guard. Local Notices to Mariners contain other marine information such as channel depths, naval operations, regattas, etc., which may affect vessels and waterways within the jurisdiction of each Coast Guard district. Reports of channel conditions, obstructions, menaces to navigation, danger areas, new chart editions, etc., are also included in the Local Notice to Mariners. These notices are essential to all navigators for the purposes of keeping their charts, Lights Lists, Coast Pilots and other nautical publications up-to-date. These notices are published as often as required, but usually weekly. Click here to obtain a copy of the District 13 Local Notice to Mariners (LNM) via the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center website. Vessels operating in ports and waterways in several districts will have to obtain the Local Notice to Mariners from each district in order to be fully informed.
You can also sign up to receive the Local Notice to Mariners (LNM) by E-Mail weekly at the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center website. Click here
Special Notice to Mariners (SNM)
The Special Notice to Mariners is an annual publication containing important information for the mariners transiting the waterways of the Thirteenth Coast Guard District. Thirteenth District waterways include the seacoast from the California/Oregon border to the United States/Canadian border, and all federally navigable waterways in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Click here for a copy of the District 13 Special Notice to Mariners (SNM).
Click here to visit the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN) to find information on (LORAN, GPS, DGPS status, Local Notice to Mariners).
For information about Notices covering the 13th Coast Guard District (Washington and Oregon) contact the Notice to Mariners Manager.
13th Coast Guard District
915 2nd Avenue, Room 3510
Seattle, WA. 98174-1067
Attn: Notice to Mariners Manager
Phone: (206) 220-7280
Report discrepancies with marine aids to navigation to the nearest Coast Guard Sector office!
Portland (833) 769-8724 / Seattle (206) 217-6002