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Sunday, July 09, 2006

New company charts St. Lucie River's depths
By Kate Grusich

The two Stuart engineers — along with a number of other specialists — have joined forces to establish a new firm dedicated to generating in-depth, up-to-date regional boating charts. Members of the months-old Hydro Engineering & Mapping firm in Stuart are hoping the ambitious effort proves to be a cash cow down the road."There are about a dozen local incidents each day of people damaging their boats or spending $300 on a tow," said McMahon.

"In the boaters' defense, it's not just carelessness but a lack of current up-to-date information on where the low spots are. In coastal areas, the bottoms change all the time. Our goal is to develop good maps of areas of high importance and eventually create a boating guide that we can sell to the public."

Armed with about $100,000 worth of high-tech equipment, the firm's nine shareholders — most of whom work for Stuart-based Engineering & Water Resources — already have begun creating "points of interest" maps, or charts featuring popular local boating spots.

TC Palm

© 2006 Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers