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Some waters of the United States have slight variations on the lateral navigation markers. You should be aware of these if you boat on these waters.

The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) is a chain of local channels linked together to provide an inland passage along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts.

  • Channels that are part of the ICW are identified by yellow symbols on channel buoys and markers. Buoys and markers that bear these yellow symbols are serving a dual purpose—they are navigational aids for both the U.S. Aids to Navigation System and the Intracoastal Waterway.
  • When following the Intracoastal Waterway in a clockwise direction starting from New Jersey and heading to Brownsville, Texas, these rules apply.
    • Any marker displaying a yellow triangle should be passed by keeping it on the starboard (right) side of the vessel.
    • Any marker displaying a yellow square should be passed by keeping it on the port (left) side of the vessel.
  • These rules are true regardless of the shape or color of the channel marker or buoy on which the ICW symbols are displayed. When you are following the Intracoastal Waterway, the yellow triangles and squares should be used as guides, rather than the colors and shapes of the lateral navigation markers on which they appear.
Intracoastal Waterway Symbols
ICW green daymark
Green daymark
ICW red daymark
Red daymark