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Celebrating World Hydro Day 2022

21 June 2022

From Public Affairs Office, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - World "Hydro" Day 2022 marks the 101st anniversary establishing the International Hydrographic Organization, which sets the standard for hydrographic surveying and publication of safety of navigation products, June 21. World Hydro Day celebrations are designed to raise awareness about hydrography and how it plays a role in improved knowledge of the seas and oceans. The day provides opportunities to publicize work and services carried out by national hydrographic offices and stimulate technical collaboration on a global scale. Since 1830, the U.S. Navy has been conducting hydrographic surveys on the high seas, starting with Lt. Matthew Maury’s expedition.

Since 1830, the U.S. Navy has been conducting hydrographic surveys on the high seas, starting with Lt. Matthew Maury’s expedition.
In 1866, the mission of the newly established U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office was defined as "the improvement of the means for navigating safely the vessels of the Navy and of the mercantile marine by providing...nautical charts, sailing directions, navigators, and manuals of instructions for the use of all vessels of the United States, and for the benefit and use of navigators generally."
Hydrography remains one of the most important missions Naval Oceanography executes around the world. The naval meteorology and oceanography community uses a variety of platforms - from a fleet of six T-AGS 60 Class survey ships to autonomous underwater and surface vehicles - to conduct hydrographic surveys around the world every year.
“The U.S. Navy, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration collaborate continuously to standardize our national hydrographic survey and charting processes and are unified in communication with the international hydrographic community.” said Mr. Matthew Borbash, Deputy Hydrographer of the Navy. “Hydrographic survey, and the resulting provision of nautical charts, is the fundamental component which enables our surface and submarine fleet’s unprecedented freedom of maneuver and global access.”
With nearly 200 years of surveying expertise, the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) is the U.S. Navy’s leading authority on hydrographic survey data collection and processing. NAVOCEANO maintains a fleet of survey vessels and a workforce of dedicated professionals to perform the daunting task of hydrographic and oceanographic data collection, processing, modelling, and production in support of US Naval operations worldwide.
“Hydrographers at the Naval Oceanographic Office dedicate much of their lives, sacrificing time away from home, collecting water depth information to ensure the successful navigation of U.S. Navy platforms and our allied partners,” said Mr. David Brazier, Director of the Hydrographic Department, NAVOCEANO. “Without their loyalty and devotion, the Fleet would not be able to accomplish its mission safely. World Hydrography Day is an opportunity to honor those who dedicate their lives to this field. It is a privilege and honor to be part of the hydrographic community.”
Hydrography is the science that measures and describes the physical features of the navigable portion of the Earth's surface and adjoining coastal areas. Hydrographic surveyors study these bodies of water to develop a “picture” of the ocean floor.
In addition, hydrographers measure water depth, and search for shoals, rocks, and wrecks that could be hazards to navigation. They also collect information on: water levels and tides, currents, temperature, and salinity.
NAVOCEANO’s subordinate command, Fleet Survey Team (FST), deploys globally, conducting hydrographic surveys and related environmental assessments enabling safe and effective maritime navigation and access to the littorals for naval and joint forces.
“Hydrography is an important enabling capability to ensure world-wide access for the U.S. Navy and DoD operational forces…with more than 90% of global trade moving across the oceans, hydrography is critical to supporting the world economy,” said Mr. Brian Rivenbark, Technical Director (Acting) for Fleet Survey Team. “FST’s sailors and civilians bring their unique skills sets in hydrography to ensure the safe operation of U.S. military, partner nation and commercial vessels around the world.”
Hydrographers calculate water depth by transmitting sound or light beams off the seafloor and measuring the time is takes for each beam to return to the sensor. By precisely mapping out water depth, the shape of the seafloor, the location of possible obstructions and physical features of water bodies, our nautical charts (essential maps for safe marine navigation) and hydrographic models (baseline data for research and marine geospatial products and services) can be updated and improved.  Good hydrography creates access for our Navy and keeps our ships and submarines moving safely and efficiently through all bodies of water.
The Office of the Hydrographer of the Navy is committed to ensuring the Fleet is ready to conduct safe operations by maximizing knowledge and understanding of the environment. As a result of strong investments in ships, technology, and people, the Hydrographer of the Navy intends to make significant contributions to hydrography on both national and international levels.
U.S. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command directs and oversees more than 2,500 globally-distributed military and civilian personnel who collect, process and exploit environmental information to assist Fleet and Joint Commanders in all warfare areas to make better decisions, based on assured environmental information, faster than the adversary.
For more information about Naval Oceanography, contact or 228-688-4147. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (Naval Oceanography), Twitter (@NavyOceans), and LinkedIn.


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