Manbirtee Key Security Zone Public Meeting Announced

TAMPA, Fla. – The Coast Guard will hold a public meeting at 10 a.m. on Nov. 13, at the Port Manatee Access Control Center at Port Manatee, 300 Tampa Bay Way, Palmetto, Fla., regarding the proposed security zone in the Manbirtee Key area of the Port of Manatee.As published in the Federal Register, Volume 72, Number 214, Proposed Rules, Page 62613-62615, the Coast Guard proposes to establish a new security zone in the Manbirtee Key area of Port of Manatee, Florida. The purpose of this security zone is to ensure the security of vessels, facilities, and the surrounding area. Entry into the security zone would be prohibited without permission of the Captain of the Port. Comments and related material are welcome but must reach the Coast Guard on or before December 6, 2007. Details on how to submit comments are provided in the Federal Register (pdf).

At the conclusion of the formal public meeting, the Coast Guard and Manatee County Port Authority representatives will host a meeting to explain a proposed Zone Watch Program that may enable boaters and fisherman to gain Captain of the Port approval to enter the security zone, provided certain requirements are met (such as a background investigation and suspicious activity awareness training) and equipment is carried (identification and communications).

This new security zone was designed by a team of local law-enforcement and maritime-industry officials who serve on the Area Maritime Security Committee. The team conducted a comprehensive review of security zones within Tampa Bay, leveraging lessons-learned from the previous security zones and an updated assessment of risk, using the Coast Guard’s Maritime Security Risk Assessment Model (MSRAM). This process lead to the reduction in size of several other security zones around Tampa Bay, including reducing the Sunshine Skyway Bridge security zone to only the main shipping channel, and may result in additional refinements to security zones in the future.

“We are committed to improving maritime security and safety while preserving the free flow of commerce and maximizing the safe and enjoyable recreational use of our waters. This process will help to secure local critical infrastructure while balancing other waterway needs,” said Coast Guard Capt. Joseph A. Servidio, in announcing the new regulation.

For details or to review the Federal Register, please refer to the Sector St. Petersburg web site.

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