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Intracoastal Waterway Buoyance System

The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) runs parallel to the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts from New Jersey to Texas at the Mexican border. Aids to navigation marking these waterways have some portion of them marked with yellow. Otherwise, the colors and numbering of buoys, day marks and lights follow the same system as that observed in all other waterways.

Intracoastal Waterway Buoyage System

Red, right, returning also applies to the ICW markers. However, how do you know which way is returning? Generally south, from New Jersey to Texas is considered returning. So, going generally south on the ICW you would have red right. There are some areas of the ICW such as the West Coast of Florida where you are actually going north. Still, if you are going from New Jersey to Texas you are returning.

Aids to navigation marking the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) display unique yellow symbols to distinguish them from aids marking other waters. Yellow triangles indicate aids should be passed by keeping them on the starboard side of the vessel. Yellow squares indicate aids should be passed by keeping them on the port side of the vessel. A yellow horizontal band has no lateral significance, but simply identifies aids as marking the ICW.

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