The limit of the COASTLINE is the line of contact between the open sea and the land at Mean High Water.
If STREAM/RIVER flows directly into the sea, the COASTLINE is a straight line drawn across the mouth of the STREAM/RIVER.
If an ESTUARY is formed along the coast, there are two options to allow navigation around and through the ESTUARY.
If the estuary is more like “a semi-enclosed coastal body of water” and if the generic part of the name in the NOAA Coastal Assessment Framework (CAF) is “bay”, “sound” or something similar, the estuary may be treated more like the feature SEA/OCEAN for modeling purposes. The feature COASTLINE is used to delineate the edge of the estuary (based on Mean High Water). This COASTLINE could be used to navigate along the edge of the estuary.
If the estuary is more like the “lower end of a river” and if the generic part of the name in the NOAA CAF is “river”, the estuary may be treated more like the feature STREAM/RIVER for modeling purposes. The feature COASTLINE is used to close off the estuary from sea/ocean. ARTIFICIAL PATHS may be added within the estuary to allow flow to be modeled through the estuary and to a point where the estuary meets the sea/ocean. The delineation of the estuary would still be based on Mean High Water, although the feature COASTLINE is not collected around the estuary.
Source Interpretation Guidelines
There is a continuous, navigable COASTLINE (flow direction = “with digitized”) around the US along the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The COASTLINE may include imaginary lines across the mouths of ESTUARY and STREAM/RIVER.
If COASTLINES bound an ESTUARY that has ARTICIFIAL PATHS for modeling flow through the ESTUARY, those COASTLINES would have flow direction = "uninitialized" and there would be a COASTLINE across the mouth of the ESTUARY that has flow direction = "with digitized".
Revision – General
Revision – Standard
Revision – Limited
Modify existing COASTLINE only if there are obvious manmade changes. Do not modify existing COASTLINE where there are natural changes, unless you can verify that the new shoreline represents approximate mean high water, using nautical charts or by determining that the photography was taken at mean high water.
About Feature Templates