The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(WASHINGTON) — Our waterways have undergone significant changes in the last thirty years and more are anticipated. Traffic has become more congested and users have become more diverse. The size of the ships calling on U.S. ports has increased without an appreciable increase in the navigation corridors in and out of our ports. Most channels have not widened despite an increase of the beams on our vessels. Bridge clearances have not become greater. The expansion of petroleum based shipments has increased the amount of hazardous cargo moving on our waterways.
The current aids to navigation design framework needs to be updated to take into account technology advances that allow for better positioning and increased marine information. Therefore, the Coast Guard will review the national levels of service provided to the mariner by the U.S. Aids to Navigation System (USATONS). To determine the appropriate aids to navigation lay down, we must take a systematic and holistic approach that considers stakeholder input, environmental considerations, channel framework, user capabilities, training and carriage, available technology, and available resources. By leveraging our current WAMS process, the Office of Navigation Systems (CG-NAV) will lead the necessary analyses to build our Level of Service framework.
The Seacoast System is made up of waterways that are unrestricted without specific boundaries or controlling depth, and are transited by vessels making landfall from an ocean or sea voyage or by those transiting along the coast. ATON in these unrestricted waterways are generally used for geographic reference or to mark specific hazards to navigation. The Atlantic and Gulf Seacoast system spans along the United States eastern seaboard from U.S./Canadian border to the U.S./Mexican border.
Please assist us by answering the following questions about how you use the Seacoast System (click here).