The Coast Guard is scheduled to discontinue 166 navigational aids within the Virginia Inside Passage due to shoaling and other navigational safety concerns.
The navigational aids will be removed as resources permit over the next several years. Removed navigational aids will be listed under an Advance Notice in future Local Notices to mariners.
A 2013 proposal identified 241 navigational aids for removal. The Coast Guard said they will continue to use navigational aids in Wachapreague Inlet, Great Machipango Inlet, Chincoteague Inlet and certain sections in the vicinity of Quinby Creek/Inlet that are scheduled to be dredged periodically. The Coast Guard will keep or replace 52 aids and will reevaluate 23 aids upon conclusion of dredging projects.
"Removing 166 navigational aids is not a decision we take lightly," said Capt. Jerry Barnes, the 5th Coast Guard District chief of prevention. "With our decision, we are balancing the needs of the local communities with the availability of federal funds to maintain these waterways. Our navigational aids guide mariners, and the presence of navigational aids signifies the Coast Guard deems a waterway safe. With the extent of shoaling in these areas, we are unable to provide a safe navigation system and cannot in good conscience continue to mark them."