Point of Beginning

Congress Approves Funds for NOAA Navigation Services

November 26, 2001
Approval includes $25.1 million for geodetic services.

Congress has approved $120.2 million for NOAA navigation services for fiscal year 2002, including $25.1 million for geodetic services, and the evolving national height modernization program. Program funding levels contained in the Conference Report on H.R. 2500, which President Bush is expected to sign into law, are listed below. An explanation is provided of what NOAA intends to achieve during the fiscal year with these funds.
  • $37.2 million for the NOAA Mapping and Charting base program. This level was recommended by the House and approximates the President’s request. It includes adjustments in base to cover inflationary costs and will enable NOAA to maintain the compilation of updated nautical charts and products.
  • $4.3 million for Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC) to advance this next-generation navigational tool. This is the first time there has been specific funding provided by Congress for ENC development. Of this amount, $900,000 will build ENCs in Alaska. As a whole, these funds will enable NOAA to complete its initial goal of ENC coverage for the nation’s 40 major ports by the end of the fiscal year. In addition, NOAA plans to facilitate the utility of the ENC for related marine GIS development as part of its contribution to Homeland Security.
  • $2 million for Shoreline Mapping, for a total funding effort of $3.5million. With these funds, NOAA will obtain digital shoreline data primarily through private sector contracts for major ports and coastal areas of high change. This activity supports nautical chart development for navigation safety and Homeland Security.
  • $27 million to address the hydrographic survey backlog, an increase of $6.6 million over last year. With this record level of funding, NOAA will continue its efforts to reduce the hydrographic survey backlog and acquire the depth and obstruction data. Congress also directed that $4.5 million of the funding go to surveying the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Ponchar train.
  • $20.3 million for NOAA Tide and Current Data. This includes $4million for the continued expansion and management of the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) and $2.05 million for an enhanced water level observation network for the Great Lakes region. The total funding increase is $5 million over the previous fiscal year. NOAA will maintain quality control for the current seven PORTS and continue the implementation of additional PORTS. The funding also supports essential maintenance and modernization for the 175-station National Water Level Observation Network, which underpins PORTS and the National Current Program.
  • $25.1 million for NOAA Geodesy programs, including $250,000 to increase NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey’s management of the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS). The NSRS provides the common geographic framework for the nation’s spatial data requirements and the basis for mapping, charting, navigation and shoreline boundary determinations. The Geodesy funding, a $2.8 million increase over 2001,includes $3.8 million for implementation of the National Height Modernization Study, which seeks to improve the utility of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and its vertical applications for marine transportation.
  • $3.3 million for the University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and the Joint Hydrographic Center. Funds are included for a study of existing bathymetric data and hydrographic survey needs to potentially put forth a U.S. continental shelf expansion claim to the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea.
  • $2 million for the Administration’s Coastal Storms initiative. NOAA’s marine navigation services contribution to this multi-program initiative will provide enhanced products and services that can reduce the loss of property and life from coastal storms in Florida’s St. John’s River watershed.