Tampa Power Squadron Cooperative Charting
NOAA and the United States Power Squadrons (USPS) have worked together for over 40-years in a
program which is called Cooperative Charting. Under the Cooperative Charting Program, USPS members submit
reports to NOAA on the condition of nautical charts, geodetic control points, and the adequacy
of tide and current predictions. NOAA uses this information to update its suite of 1000 nautical
charts and the U.S. Coast Pilot.
In 1963, NOAA predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey (C&GS), recognized that maintenance of the suite of nautical charts that cover the U.S. was a challenging task with the sparse resources they had at hand. Many charts would go uninspected by C&GS surveyors for decades. The idea behind the establishment of the Cooperative Charting Program was for local Power Squadron members to examine their local charts for accuracy and report any discrepancies to the government. Power Squadrons throughout the country have adopted over 125 NOS nautical charts.
Over the last decade, Power Squadron members have become very sophisticated in the type and quality of data they provide to NOAA. Most nautical charting reports are positioned using Differential or Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) receivers. Many members collect depths with echo sounders, merge these depths with GPS positions on a computer, and forward the data digitally to NOAA.
The Tampa Power Squadron is proud to have as one of its members one of the top 5 most prolific cooperative charting contributors in the country. He also serves as the chairman of our coop charting committee and provides knowledge and training to those with an interest in this activity. If it sounds like something you would be interested in then consider membership in our squadron and you can learn from one of the best.