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New Chart Inset Makes for Safer Sailing in Norfolk Inner Harbor
Norfolk Inner Harbor Inset

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey has released an updated chart of Norfolk Harbor in time for Virginia’s War of 1812 Bicentennial events, when boats of all shapes and sizes descend on the area for twelve days of maritime activities. The updated chart includes a new inset of the Norfolk Inner Harbor, which provides updated depth measurements and more details than the current chart.

The new inset on existing NOAA chart 12253, Norfolk Harbor and Elizabeth River, is at a 1:10,000 scale. The improvement incorporates data acquired by two hydrographic surveys: one last year by NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson and another by a Coast Survey navigation response team in 2010. The re-surveys of the Norfolk Inner Harbor updated more than 600 charted features and provided new bathymetry along the entire Norfolk waterfront.

“The surveys and the new chart inset will help ensure the navigational safety of the hundreds of boats coming in and out of the harbor during the War of 1812 Bicentennial events,” explained NOAA Captain Doug Baird, chief of the Office of Coast Survey Marine Chart Division. “But this serves a broader economic need as well. The downtown area of Norfolk has developed as a multi-purpose port area, which requires a larger chart scale to support it.”

The larger scale coverage of the inner harbor area was requested by the Virginia Marine Pilot Association, which works closely with the Office of Coast Survey to ensure the safety of ships and mariners.  

NOAA’s nautical charts come in a variety of formats, to meet the needs of different navigational systems. The updated chart is now available to all mariners as a traditional paper chart from vendors, or as a Print on Demand chart through OceanGrafix. Additionally, recreational boaters are able to download and print free BookletCharts designed especially for small boats: the War of 1812 Commemorative BookletChart and the updated regular edition for chart 12253 will be released later this month. NOAA’s electronic navigational chart will also be available shortly. (Follow us on Twitter for announcements of new and updated NOAA ENCs.)

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey has been the nation’s nautical chartmaker for two centuries. Coast Survey contributes nautical charts, hydrographic data, and navigational assistance to the full range of NOAA’s navigational services.

May 1, 2012

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