Regarding the West Florida intracoastal waterway, Paul E. raises questions about official USCG terminology versus local usage with this comment:
Just a friendly reminder that the ICW by Sarasota is officially part of the AICW and not part of the GICW. While Sarasota in along the Gulf Coast, the GICW goes from Carrabelle, FL to Brownsville, TX.
to which I responded:
Re “GIWW” I try to use the USCG’s terminology. See these recent LNM headings:
FLORIDA – GIWW – TAMPA BAY: Maximo Marina Redevelopment
FLORIDA – GIWW – CHARLOTTE HARBOR TO TAMPA BAY – GASPARILLA SOUND CHANNEL: Construction.
FLORIDA – GIWW – CHARLOTTE HARBOR TO TAMPA BAY – FORKED CREEK: Private Aid Hazard to Navigation
I know Claiborne always told me that West Floridians hated having the West Florida Waterway referred to as GIWW or GICW. However, for the novice boater, I find it hard to refer to the western waterway as Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Confusing at best.
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Actually this getting more interesting. I recall reading some time back that the Gulf Intracoastal waterway extends from Brownsville, TX to Carrabelle, FL. Location along the GICW is measured in statutory miles east and west of Harvey Lock, NO. That is Harvey Lock is 0 StM, the StM values increase east from 0 to 375 StM at Carrabelle whereas westward, the StM increase from 0 StM at Harvey Lock to StM 665 at Brownville, TX. There is a wiki page on the GICW which defines the GICW as ranging from Carrabelle to Brownsville too(but just because it is online does not make it correct).
At some level it is all semantics, in that is there is one ICW, Intracoastal WaterWay, that encompasses all, with regions of the ICW loosely defined(or loosely labled & used). The ICW has many segments, and it is probably not fair to split it in two regions. In fact, historical there were AIWW, GIWW, and the FIWW (plus I’m sure others). The well known Atlantic Inland Water Way, the Gulf Inland Water Way, and the Florida Inland Water Way (West FL & Okeechobee). While the FIWW label is not widely used, the Florida west coast region has it own layout of statutory miles going from Anclote Key (StM 150) to Sanibel/Ft Meyers area (StM 0). In fact, one very trusty online resource, CruisersNet, gets this right and distinguishes this region as “WF ICW”. See: /marinas/060-wf-icw-miserable-mile-to-gasparilla-island/
Actually, I found the attached historical document “History of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway” by the US Army Corp of Engineers very interesting. At one point there were plans to extend the GIWW from Carrabelle through St Marks and down to Anclote Key, making one continuous GIWW which would include the Okeechobee Waterway(which I guess one could be referred as OIWW (or Oke-ICW) since it has it own StM system). Ok, I give up. But I do prefer: Atlantic-ICW, Gulf-ICW, West_Florida-ICW, Oke-ICW, … And I would rather not use the old inland waterway terms like AIWW & GIWW.-
1981 C&C 38 Landfall
S/V Johanna Rose