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USCG Shuts Down Nine Maritime DGPS Beacons

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced that because of the comments received from navigation, dredging and hydrographic survey sec-tors, that only nine maritime beacons will be shut down, or disestablished, leaving most of the coastal and inland river National Differential Global Positioning System (NDGPS) beacons in operation.

Twenty-eight Department of Transportation (DOT) inland sites will be retained.  
The original plan was to decommission 84 NDGPS sites. This number was reduced to 37 – nine maritime and 28 DOT inland sites, leaving a total of 46 USCG and USACE sites available to users in the maritime and coastal regions.  

The beacons were shut down on August 5 – 30 days after the Federal Register notice announcing the decision appeared.

Maritime beacons decommissioned were at Brunswick, Maine; Cold Bay, Alaska; Eglin, Florida; Isabela, Puerto Rico; Lompoc, California; Pickford, Michigan; Saginaw Bay, Michigan; Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and Key West, Florida.

One-third, or 58, of the comments received in response to the August 2015 Fed-eral Register notice were from the navigation and dredging sector. Forty-four comments ex-pressed a need for enhanced precision for navigation provided by DGPS (e.g. piloting) and 14 of the 58 comments expressed a need for enhanced precision for positioning to support marine surveying and dredging. 

The Coast Guard will consider the transfer of Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) beacons to private entities or other Federal, State, and/or local agencies interested in continuing to operate them as CORS sites. These are sites that provide data sources to support surveying, science, and natural re-source management.  At least half the comments supported retention of these sites. 

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