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Short Citation:
Office for Coastal Management, 2023: Munitions and Explosives of Concern,

Item Identification

Title: Munitions and Explosives of Concern
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2023-06-07

Munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) have been deposited on the seabed of the United States outer continental shelf since World War I. The bulk of these munitions have originated from the U.S. Armed Forces while conducting military training exercises, war-time placement, and disposal and dumping activities. Since 1972 ocean disposal of munitions and other pollutants has been banned by the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act. Federal and state efforts to mitigate, map, monitor, and sometimes remove these munitions are ongoing. The location of these munitions is generally unknown, and their existence remains a hazard to people and the natural resources within this geography.

The term MEC defines a collection of munitions including; a) unexploded ordnance, b) discarded military munitions, and c) munitions constituents that are present in high enough concentrations to pose an explosive hazard.

Additional information on the location of MECs can be found in the data and references listed below:

1. Formerly Used Defense Sites

2. Danger Zones and Restricted Areas

3. U.S. Disposal of Chemical Weapons in the Ocean: Background and Issues for Congress, CRS Report for Congress, January 3, 2007

4. Defense Environmental Programs Annual Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2009. Chapter 10. Sea Disposal of Military Munitions


To support ocean planning activities pursuant to the Executive Order Regarding the Ocean Policy to Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States, the Energy Policy Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, and the Coastal Zone Management Act.


The shape and position of each many features originates from the highest resolution and latest available Raster Navigational Chart. The identity of each chart is provided in the chartReference field. Using these data with other raster or vector nautical chart products may result in the appearance of offsets and discontinuities between these data and the other sources.

Supplemental Information:

Bureau Code: 006:48, Program Code: 006:055


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Category
None coastal
None planning

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None American Samoa
None Exclusive Economic Zone
None Guam
None Northern Mariana Islands
None Outer Continental Shelf
None Puerto Rico
None Territorial Sea
None United States of America
None US Virgin Islands

Physical Location

City: Charleston
State/Province: SC

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: None Planned
Data Presentation Form: Map (digital)
Entity Attribute Overview:

description, reportYear, chartReference, district, UTM

Distribution Liability:

Data Set Credit: NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Support Roles

Point of Contact

CC ID: 1201902
Date Effective From: 2022-08
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): NOAA Office for Coastal Management (NOAA/OCM)
Address: 2234 South Hobson Ave
Charleston, SC 29405-2413
Email Address:
Phone: (843) 740-1202


Currentness Reference: Publication Date

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 1201955
W° Bound: -177.25
E° Bound: 177.75
N° Bound: 71.5
S° Bound: 13.25

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 1201954
Time Frame Type: Discrete
Start: 2023

publication date

Spatial Information

Spatial Representation

Representations Used

Grid: No
Vector: Yes
Text / Table: No
Stereo Model: No
Video: No

Vector Representation 1

CC ID: 1201907
Topology Level: Geometry Only
Curve Object Present?: Yes

Reference Systems

Reference System 1

CC ID: 1201908

Coordinate Reference System

CRS Type: Geographic 2D
EPSG Code: EPSG:4269
EPSG Name: NAD83
See Full Coordinate Reference System Information

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Use Constraints:

For coastal and ocean planning

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 1201904
Download URL:
Description: Data Registry

Distribution 2

CC ID: 1201903
Download URL:

Technical Environment


Microsoft Windows, ArcGIS Pro, Azure SQL

Data Quality



Horizontal Positional Accuracy:

Compiled to meet 10 meters horizontal accuracy at 95% confidence level

Completeness Report:


Conceptual Consistency:

These data are logically consistent



ENC Direct to GIS

CC ID: 1201958
Contact Role Type: Originator
Contact Type: Organization
Contact Name: NOAA Office of Coast Survey
Publish Date: 2022-11-07
Citation URL:

Local Notice to Mariners 20/23

CC ID: 1201956
Contact Role Type: Originator
Contact Type: Organization
Contact Name: U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center
Publish Date: 2023-05-16
Citation URL:
Source Contribution:

New areas added for the vicinity of Cape Cod National Seashore and Norfolk VA. Higher resolution data added for the vicinity of the central Gulf of Maine.

Maritime Chart Service

CC ID: 1201959
Contact Role Type: Originator
Contact Type: Organization
Contact Name: NOAA Office of Coast Survey
Citation URL:

Raster Navigational Charts

CC ID: 1201957
Contact Role Type: Originator
Contact Type: Organization
Contact Name: NOAA Office of Coast Survey
Publish Date: 2022-12-22
Citation URL:

U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

CC ID: 1224101
Contact Role Type: Publisher
Contact Type: Organization
Contact Name: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Publish Date: 2022-07-01
Citation URL:
Source Contribution:

Provided coordinates of features and related language necessary to build feature geometry | Type of Source Media: online

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 1201950

1. Acquire source data by URL

2. Imported ENC area and point layers for Dumping Ground, and Caution features for bands a) coastal, b) approach, and c) harbor scale

3. Removed duplicate features

4. Removed features not clearly identified as unexploded ordnance

5. Removed features beyond the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone

6. Removed features if they matched content currently in the Danger Zones and Restricted Areas data set

7. Validated completeness by visual comparison to current NOAA Raster Navigational Charts, Marine Cadastre map services Unexploded Ordnance Areas, Unexploded Ordnance Locations, Formerly Used Defense Sites, and NOAA ENC map services

8. Added new features listed in the Local Notice to Mariners

9. Adjusted the location, size and shape of each feature to align with the highest resolution NOAA Raster Navigational Chart available for each location using the local UTM projection

10. Populated the comment field using the textual description for each feature shown on the RNC

11. Added the values for the U.S. Coast Guard district and the UTM zone for each feature

12. Removed duplicate, extraneous and relic ENC vertex values that did not contribute to defining the shape of a feature

13. Executed the ArcGIS Pro function DENSIFY with a four-meter setting on all newly positioned circular features

14. Executed the ArcGIS Pro functions PROJECT and MERGE to combine features across all UTM Zones

15. Executed and passed the ArcGIS Pro function CHECK GEOMETRY with the OGC parameter

16. Executed and passed the QGIS function VECTOR > GEOMETRY TOOLS > CHECK VALIDITY with all GEOS parameters set to on

17. Visually inspected each feature for accuracy and completeness based on the associated RNC

Process Date/Time: 2023-01-11 00:00:00

Process Step 2

CC ID: 1224102

1. Acquire and query features from the Danger Zones and Restricted Areas data set that depict MEC features

2. Modify the Danger Zones and Restricted Areas record set to match the existing Munitions and Explosives of Concern data structure

3. APPEND the Danger Zones and Restricted Areas record set to the existing Munitions and Explosives of Concern data set

Process Date/Time: 2023-03-08 00:00:00

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 69013
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:69013
Metadata Record Created By: Daniel Martin
Metadata Record Created: 2023-01-03 21:43+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: Daniel Martin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-06-07 21:32+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2023-01-12
Owner Org: OCM
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2018-07-25
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2019-07-25