'BookletCharts' Commemorate War of 181219/04/2012
|As the USA kicks off maritime celebrations to commemorate the War of 1812, NOAA is releasing special navigation products that will help boaters enjoy the festivities safely. Commemorative editions of 'BookletCharts' and posters can be downloaded from NOAA’s War of 1812 website. These special editions have been developed from NOAA's experimental BookletCharts products which can be downloaded and printed at home. As people use the site to help make their plans for War of 1812 activities, they will also find links to timely navigation information, ocean observations and up-to-date marine weather.|
Beginning this month, the public will have free online access to special BookletCharts that include nautical charts, OPSail tall ship parade routes, and historical background for activities planned in five ports holding official bicentennial events.
NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey is working closely with the U.S. Navy and port officials to make the commemorative events come alive with historical information for War of 1812 activities in New Orleans (17-23 April), New York (23-30 May), Norfolk (2-12 June), Baltimore (13-19 June) and Boston (29 June-6 July).
Coast Survey has also produced commemorative chart posters for the five ports. The PDF posters, available free from the web, depict naval stories from the War of 1812, illustrated with historical charts and artwork.
In 1807, it was common to lose ships to accidents in U.S. coastal waters. The nation needed nautical charts, so President Thomas Jefferson signed a law authorising the Survey of the Coast. The survey would measure water depths, establish a spatial reference system to determine location, and produce the nation’s navigational charts.
As relations among the United States, England, and France grew contentious, Jefferson instituted an economic embargo against both nations. With the U.S. recalling American seamen and effectively terminating the American merchant marine and international trade, the result was a stalled Survey of the Coast for the rest of the Jefferson Administration.
Jefferson's successor, James Madison, reinstituted the survey and during a thaw in relations between the two countries sent Ferdinand Hassler, the first head of the Survey of the Coast, to England in late 1811 to buy survey instruments. President Madison declared war on England eight months after Hassler's arrival in London, and he was unable to return to the U.S. until 1817.
Years of debate and struggles over control of the new agency ensued, however, and the actual Survey of the Coast didn’t begin until 1832. When U.S. Coast Survey Superintendent Alexander Bache took over in 1843, the U.S. Coast Survey picked up steam and, by 1860, had deployed survey teams to all parts of the growing nation’s coastline.
Today, America’s coastal waters remain as central to the nation’s prosperity as they were 200 years ago. Mariners and others still rely on NOAA’s Coast Survey charts, constantly updated with the accuracy and precision needed to protect life and property.
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