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Cooperative Charting

We have been told that the Cooperative Charting Program is recognized as the most effective user-participation program in all of the Federal services. The USPS Cooperative Charting Program has three components:


  • Nautical

  • Geodetic

  • Marina Surveys


Participating in any or all of these programs is fun and provides a fantastic public service. 

Nautical Program 

The Nautical component of the Cooperative Charting Program is performed through surveys and in close cooperation with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Coast Guard, and NOAA. These surveys support the above agencies in assuring waterways are properly marked and maintained.


Depending upon the situation, survey results are communicated immediately to the US Coast Guard, or may be reported using various Power Squadron, US Army Corp of Engineers, and NOAA capabilities.


Examples of surveys our members perform include:

  • Aids to Navigation (ATON) Surveys compare what is observed on-scene with what appears in the USCG Light List. Surveys include identifying discrepancies, verifications, and inspections 

  • Bridge Surveys compare bridge conditions with what is observed on-scene with the characteristics as listed in the Bridge Lighting and Other Characteristics document

  • NOAA Chart Surveys compare the features of a chart (either missing or additional items) with on-scene observations targeting issues like wrecks, rocks or other obstructions that may cause groundings, including islands that are no longer visible

Navigational Compass with map
Geodetic Marker with GPS

Geodetic Survey Program 

Geodetic marks are highly accurate reference points established on the surface of the earth by local, state, and national agencies. Maintenance and preservation of these marks are of utmost importance to users of the net and to NGSD, recognizing that many valuable geodetic marks are destroyed by construction, new roads, erosion, or other causes. Our job is to locate each of these marks and report their condition together with any change in the directions needed to locate them.

Finding them is like a big scavenger hunt! And you can do this even if you don't have a boat!

Marina Surveys

Through a partnership with, we make visits to marinas within their database and report our findings to keep their information up-to-date. This database provides a wealth of information for boaters as they cruise our waterways. We can even add information on new marinas. You can do surveys by water, but even better you can do this by car!

Coastal Marina for Recreational Boaters
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