Web Access to NOAA Hydro Survey Plans - 24/11/2014


The NOAA Coast Survey is posting its three-year survey plans and making them publicly available at the Planned NOAA Hydrographic Survey Areas (2015-2017) in ArcGIS Online. In addition to seeing the outlines of planned survey areas for the next three years, users can obtain additional metadata (project name, calendar year, and area in square nautical miles) for each survey by clicking on the outlines.

With over 3.4 million square nautical miles of U.S. waters to chart, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey is constantly evaluating long-term hydrographic survey priorities. The Hydrographic Survey Division is Coast Survey’s primary data acquisition arm. They plan and manage the large survey ships’ hydrographic operations. (The Navigation Services Division manages the smaller survey boats used by the navigation response teams. Their survey plans will soon be added to this webmap.)

Because of the responsibility and its relative precious resources, Coast Survey develops long-term survey priorities using a number of parameters, including navigational significance, survey vintage (when the area was last surveyed), vessel usage, and potential for unknown dangers to navigation. Coast Survey then culls the long-term priorities for annual survey plans using other factors such as urgent needs (recent grounding, accidents, etc.), compelling requests from the maritime industry and U.S. Coast Guard, traffic volume, and identified chart discrepancies.

While Coast Survey tries to consider operational constraints, ice coverage, and weather patterns while making plans, sometimes the unexpected does occur. The plans may be subject to reevaluations, operational constraints, weather, and resource allocation. The planning site, and will be updated as plans change.

Last updated: 21/10/2020