Intracostal Waterway Logistical Data

Map of the official Ditch Chapters
The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AICW / ICW) or "The Ditch" starts in Norfolk, VA and runs south ending in Miami, FL.
Comprised of both natural and manmade canals, rivers, bays, and sounds; it provides a protected passage for the mariner transiting the lower east coast of the U. S.
The minimum overhead clearance of the fixed bridges over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway is 56’ at the Julia Tuttle Causeway Bridge in Miami at mile marker 1087.1. This means vessels requiring more than 56’ bound for Miami to leave the AICW at Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades) mile marker 1066.5 and sailing coastwise, re-enter at Miami (Government Cut) at mile marker 1089.0.
The minimum clearance of overhead cables crossing the AICW is 68’ at Snows Cut, mile marker 295.8, at Federal Point, NC. There is also an overhead cable car found at mile marker 356.4 in Myrtle Beach, SC having a least clearance of 67’ under the low point of travel of the car.
The Federal project depth for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway via Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal provides for a least depth of 12’ from Norfolk, VA, mile marker 0.0 to Fort Pierce, FL, mile marker 965.6, and then 10’ from there to Miami, FL, mile marker 1089.0.
The unofficial northern end of the Intracoastal Waterway is considered by many to be Manasquan, NJ where smaller boats may cruise south through New Jerseys’ largely unimproved channels. Caution should be used here, since much of New Jersey’s portion of the ICW is shoal with a number of fixed bridges having a limiting vertical clearance of 35’ (most, if not all, sailboats bound for warmer climes elect to sail coastwise rather than attempt the NJICW.) From New Jersey your route will take you through the Delaware Bay, the C&D Canal, and the Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk.
For those headed further south than Miami, the unofficial southern end of the Atlantic Intracoastal ends in Key West. Once south of Miami many of the keys as well as an off-lying reef provide some protection from weather and heavy seas.

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