Coastwide
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is phasing out traditional navigational charts, like this one that shows Beaufort Inlet, a portion of Core Sound and Lookout Bight. (NOAA graphic)

NOAA phases out paper nautical charts

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is phasing out traditional paper navigation charts, but one NOAA official says the chart for Carteret County should last through the year.

The NOAA Office of Coast Survey released a document Nov. 14, 2019, “Sunsetting Traditional NOAA Paper Charts,” that lays out a plan to gradually phase out traditional paper navigation charts and related raster products. A raster chart is a paper nautical chart, scanned image of a paper chart, digital image from which a paper chart is made or other digital representation of a traditional nautical chart stored as rows and columns of colored pixels.

However, NOAA OCS Southeast Navigation Manager Kyle Ward said Tuesday in an email to the News-Times that there’s no set date for the raster chart for Carteret County to be discontinued.

“I expect it will be after 2020,” Mr. Ward said. “There will be sufficient notice in the USCG (U.S. Coast Guard) Local Notice to Mariners and on our website prior to canceling any charts. Also, the latest version of our raster charts will be available on our historical charts page for reference.”

The NOAA OCS historical charts page is available at the website historicalcharts.noaa.gov.

Mr. Ward said the OCS expects the effects of sunsetting paper charts on navigation on the North Carolina coast will be minimal.

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