The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking input from commercial and recreational mariners for an assessment of navigation requirements on the Atlantic and Gulf seacoast.
The Coast Guard Waterways Analysis and Management System (WAMS) survey is focused on the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico Seacoast System, an open water system typically traveled by mariners arriving from an ocean voyage or transiting along the coast.
Individual mariners and interested maritime industry representatives can provide input until May 31, 2016, at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SeacoastWAMS.
In addition to stakeholder input, the study will also consider environmental concerns, user capabilities, available technology and available resources.
The assessment is the first in a series of national-level reviews that are part of the Future of Navigation initiative. The initiative seeks to improve service delivery for marine safety information, modernize the Coast Guard's physical aids to navigation (ATON) system, incorporate automatic identification system ATON where appropriate, and improve communications with Marine Transportation System (MTS) stakeholders.
MTS waterways in the U.S. are vital economic arteries that enable the continuous flow of overseas trade, sustain 13 million jobs and contribute $3.2 trillion to the national economy.
"This study will help to bring our waterways into the 21st century," said Cmdr. John M. Stone, chief of the Coast Guard's Navigation Technology and Risk Management Division. "While ATON continues to evolve to match the capabilities and requirements of our stakeholders, our mission remains the same: enhance mariner situational awareness and improve the safety of mariners on our waterways."
Managed by the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Navigation Systems and maintained by Coast Guard cutters and ATON teams around the nation, aids to navigation guide military, commercial and recreational vessels through U.S. waters and help navigators determine their position, chart a safe course and steer clear of hazards.