Cooperative Charting . . . Using Our Skills to Help
Through an agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Power Squadrons (USPS) the Catawba Sail and Power Squadron assists NOAA through a program called Cooperative Charting, correcting Nautical Charts.
This is a public service whereby we contribute our time to do this work which is of great value to the agencies responsible for the upkeep and publishing of this valuable data. We utilize our knowledge of piloting, navigation, positioning, measuring and logical skills to contribute to these databases. The government allows us to deduct all of our Cooperative Charting expenses from our taxable income as a section 501(C)3 deduction. To see more about the United States Power Squadrons' Cooperative Charting Program CLICK HERE.
Specifically, we look for discrepancies in any of these nautical documents and verify physically the problems with of any features or characteristics shown. We also look for hazards to navigation that could endanger a mariner in the vicinity. We deliver our findings routinely to the agencies by preparing printed or computer submitted reports. When immediate action is required to correct a dangerous hazard we report by radio or telephone directly to the Coast Guard or responsible agency.
Each year the Catawba Squadron arranges for a group of members to take boats to the SC, NC or GA coasts and spend several days cruising and correcting data on the Nautical Charts in our chosen area. We have been to Charleston, Hilton Head, Edisto Island, Georgetown, and Beaufort in SC and Southport, NC in recent years. A member can, at any time, do Cooperative Charting work. Contact the Squadron Cooperative Charting Chairman to get started.
This is a voluntary activity where we do valuable work and have a good time doing it. Points are awarded to members for their work and the USPS recognizes us individually and our Squadron collectively for these points and a competition is encouraged throughout USPS.
The Catawba Squadron has ranked very high for our work both in District 27 and nationally over the years. In the year 2000, Catawba was 1ST in District 27 and 10TH nationally in Cooperative Charting, earning P/C Gene Stutz, SN, CoOp Charting Chairperson, an award at the 36th Annual Change of Watch.
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Geodetic Marker Recovery ... Helping everyone, not just boaters.
For many years, the United States Power Squadrons assisted the National Geodetic Survey (NGS), a branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in surveying the condition of the thousands of geodetic markers that have been placed throughout the United States by NGS, state and local surveyors to provide an exact geographical reference for such things as property surveys, road construction, etc. In 2009 NGS terminated the Geodetic Marker Recovery program due to budget constraints in uploading the data provided by USPS into the NGS computer system. As a result of improvements in the NGS data system NGS and USPS revived this program in 2015. The Catawba Sail and Power Squadron had been very active in Geodetic Marker Recovery with one of its members Past Commander Lewis F. Hicks, AP having done the most marker recoverys nationally in 1999. The squadron launched its participation in this important program under the direction of Past Commander Eugene L. Stutz, SN in the fall of 2015. Unfortunately, Gene passed away within weeks of launching the program and the squadron did not get back to participation until January of 2016 but has been active in this program since.
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CATAWBA SAIL AND POWER SQUADRON