Magenta Line Makeover

Changes will be made to the Intracoastal Waterway charts following complaints made to the NOAA Office of Coast Survey. Boaters who navigated along the magenta line, currently labeled on ICW charts as the “recommended route,” were running into shoals.

According to Director of Coast Survey, Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, “The problems of the magenta line’s misplacement, which had been developing over the past seven decades, were aggravated when some boaters assumed that the line indicated a precise route through safe water- although it actually went over land, shoals or obstructions.”

New ICW charts will change the magenta line’s current “recommended route” label to “advisory directional guide.” However, due to the magenta line’s presence on over 52 versions of the ICW’s navigational charts, the updated label could take up to five years to complete. Other changes to the ICW charts will include notes for boaters to look for changing conditions in the waterways.

Originally Published by Yachting Magazine - January 2014

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