WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. government is going into uncharted waters. It is doing away with the giant paper nautical charts that it has been printing for mariners for more than 150 years.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday that the traditional paper charts will not be printed after next April.
NOAA's Capt. Shep Smith said the agency will still chart the water for rocks, shipwrecks and dangers, but mariners will have to see the information using private on-demand printing, pPortable document formats or PDFs and electronic maps.
The large roadmaps of the oceans will not be printed because of the Federal Aviation Administration. Smith said the FAA took over federal chart-making in the 1990s and recently told NOAA it will stop making the charts to save money.