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Every fall, a migration occurs along America's East Coast, but it's not of the avian type. Hundreds of cruisers aboard recreational boats (aka "snowbirds") trek south via the 1,100-mile Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) from to Key West, Florida, seeking warmer climates before returning north in the spring.

Confronting these boaters are myriad navigation hazards, including shifting shoals, lift bridge closures, construction, navigation aid repairs, and dredging projects that aren't marked on their chartplotters or paper charts. What's a boater to do? BoatUS has the solution: Subscribe to the free East Coast Alerts e-newsletter compiled by Mel & Tom Neale.

BoatUS East Coast Alerts newsletter screenshot

What It Is: BoatUS East Coast Alerts is a free monthly electronic newsletter (with updates) that distills the regional U.S. Coast Guard Local Notices to Mariners and provides local knowledge for boaters along the Intracoastal Waterway

Who It's For: Cruisers and local boaters who use the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

Map of the United States with the districts along the Intracoastal Waterway highlighted in different colors

Why Sign Up:

  • Stay informed and more up to date than the U.S. Coast Guard Local Notices to Mariners
  • Find relevant hazards for your boating region without sifting through more than 100 pages of Local Notices to Mariners
  • Get additional details that you won't find anywhere else
  • Legitimate and credible information from trusted sources
  • Plan ahead and navigate safely
  • It's free, and you can unsubscribe at any time

Tom and Mel Neale aboard their powerboat waving

Who Compiles It? Mel Neale, a professional artist, served as cruising editor for Waterway Guide and has authored features for various boating publications. Her husband, Tom Neale, is a book author, has written extensively for Cruising World and Soundings, and now serves as technical editor of BoatUS Magazine. After leaving careers in law and education to cruise the East Coast and Bahamas with their two daughters, Mel and Tom were full-time cruising liveaboards for nearly 30 years.They now cruise part-time on their home waters of Chesapeake Bay. Mel and Tom have been compiling East Coast Alerts free for BoatUS Members since 2004.

BoatUS East Coast Alerts by Mel & Tom Neale is a great tool to help Intracoastal boaters plan ahead and navigate safely. This information is delivered in a way you can easily use.

Bernadette Bernon, BoatUS Magazine Editorial Director & 15,000-mile world sailor

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BoatUS Editors

Contributor, BoatUS Magazine

Award-winning BoatUS Magazine is the official publication of Boat Owners Association of The United States. The magazine provides boating skills, DIY maintenance, safety, news and more from top experts.