What is it? -- Adopt-a-Chart is an organized comprehensive effort to keep a chart or a portion of a chart up-to-date on an ongoing basis.
NOS, the Federal agency responsible for keeping Nautical Charts up-to-date, never seems to have a large enough budget. NOS does not have sufficient funds to keep charts of recreational waters up-to-date. Even commercial waters are not surveyed as frequently as NOS would like to. In the past, USPS has assisted NOS by submitting Nautical Chart Corrections. These corrections have been valuable but they have not given NOS a systematic or complete survey of all features on their charts. This is where the Adopt-A-Chart program comes in.
When a squadron adopts a chart, it makes a long term commitment to perform and report continuous, complete, and systematic evaluations of all charted information and new features pertinent to navigation on their adopted chart. The adopted chart may be an entire chart or just a particular section of a chart. The squadron pledges, as an organization, to go over their adopted chart with a fine tooth comb year after year.
Adopt-A-Chart reports include data from all of the "Field Activities" (except Geodetic Marks) within the assigned chart or portion of a chart area. When making a report, be sure to indicate that it is part of the Adopt-A-Chart Program.
Getting started -- Charts are adopted by Squadrons not by individuals. A squadron must commit itself to the present and future work involved regardless of which members may do the work at any given moment.
A written request (application form) from the squadron commander for a squadron to participate in the Adopt-A-Chart Program should be submitted to the district cooperative charting chairman who will submit it to the Chairman of the National Cooperative Charting Committee. The request should contain:
1) a statement to the effect that the squadron's executive committee has reviewed the request, voted on it, and approved it.
2) the number(s) of the NOS nautical charts, chart, or part of a chart the squadron wants to adopt. Where part of a chart is involved, a copy of the chart with the desired area outlined should be attached to the application. When selecting a chart to adopt, visit Latest Adopt A Chart List to see which charts have already been adopted.
3) an estimate of the number of squadron members (regardless of specific individuals) who will be involved in the Program over a long period of time.
4) an estimate of the number of boats that will be involved in the Program over a long period of time.
5) name/address/phone of person to whom Adopt-A-Chart materials should be sent.
NOS and the National Cooperative Charting Committee evaluates each application and assigns charts or chart sections, in terms of the urgency of NOS' need for data from the areas involved and the long term commitment of resources the applying squadrons are prepared to assume. These assignments are made in coordination with the districts, as well as, the squadrons. The process of assigning a chart or chart section starts with a squadron's request, considers the requests of neighboring squadrons and district-wide planning, weighs the number of individuals and boats a squadron is prepared to commit in relation to the work involved, etc. The district chairmen, the squadron commanders, and the squadron Cooperative Charting chairmen will be contacted by the National Cooperative Charting Committee on the application in regard to any questions which may arise. They will be notified of the National Committee's decision. Applications which appear to be candidates for rejection will be discussed with the district and squadron chairmen before finalization.
If your Squadron has already adopted a Chart - you can determine if another report is due by viewing the Latest Adopt A Chart Report (You must submit at least one report each year to retain parenthood of your chart).
History -- The ADOPT-A-CHART program was started in late 1997 with a pilot project being conducted, as part of the Cooperative Charting Program, by the Richmond Power Squadron, District 5, United States Power Squadrons. The Richmond Power Squadron chose National Ocean Service chart 12235, Rappahannock River Entrance, Piankatank and Great Wicomico Rivers, to adopt. This squadron systematically examined approximately 98% of the area of the chart within the period of about 1 year. Reports submitted by squadron members included new items that were not previously charted, items that were charted but were no longer visable, and areas of the chart that appeared to be correct as charted.More than 40 members of the Richmond Power Squadron participated in this extensive project. In January, 1999, a new edition of chart 12235 was issued. The following note was added to that edition of the chart:
The National Ocean Service acknowledges the
exceptional cooperation received from members
of the Richmond Power Squadron, District 5, United
States Power Squadrons, in continually providing
essential information for revising this chart.
To date, more than 100 squadrons of the United States Power Squadrons have indicated their interest in participating in this part of the Cooperative Charting Program.Field Guide and Summary -- Adopt A Chart