Coast Guard releases Chicago Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment report

Great Lakes Coast Guard NewsCHICAGO — Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago announced today that the final report from the Chicago Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment workshop held on March 27-28, 2012 has been released and is now available for public review.

The workshop was attended by 29 participants representing waterway users, regulatory authorities, and stakeholders with an interest in the safe and efficient use of specifically identified waterway systems in the Chicago area, from both a commercial and recreational perspective.

Participants discussed and evaluated multiple risk factors for Chicago’s waterways during the workshop. A thorough summary of collaborative risk mitigation strategies is detailed in the PAWSA report, including a recommendation to establish a Harbor Safety Committee for the Port of Chicago.

“The increasing use of the Chicago River system by a wide variety of recreational and commercial interests requires a coordinated management approach,” said Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the 9th Coast Guard District. “The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan strongly supports the PAWSA’s primary recommendation to form a Chicago Harbor Safety Committee and Port of Chicago stakeholders are in the final stages of drafting a charter.”

“We are committed to making the Chicago River a recreational frontier for residents and visitors to our city,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The safety assessment and the formation of a safety committee demonstrate that we are equally committed to accomplishing this goal in the safest manner possible.”

The final report of the PAWSA can be found on the Coast Guard Navigation Center’s PAWSA final reports website.

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