AP Science Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal government is going into uncharted waters. It is deep-sixing the giant paper nautical charts that they've been printing for mariners for more than 150 years.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday that the traditional paper charts won't 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, PDFs and electronic maps.
The 4-by-3 foot roadmaps of the oceans won't 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.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.