Coast Guard announces security zones to be designated for upcoming NATO Summit

9th Coast Guard District NewsMILWAUKEE — The captain of the port of Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan announced Friday the publishing of a notice of proposed rulemaking, which designates four separate security zones on the waters of Chicago Harbor from May 16-24.

The security zones have been designated to protect summit participants and the residents of Chicago during the two-day NATO summit, scheduled for May 20 and 21. The waterways will not be closed during the entire period, but rather there will be periodic restrictions to ensure safety and security during the event.

These waterways include waters surrounding Burnham, Monroe, and DuSable Harbors, the Chicago River and the Chicago Locks. More information about the security zones can be found HERE.

Each security zone has been designed to allow as much free transit of vessels as possible while preserving the security of the NATO summit. The captain of the port does not want to unnecessarily impede traffic and is committed to maintaining open commerce during the event. The Coast Guard will continue to conduct outreach to commercial and recreational vessels to mitigate impact to Chicago-area marine traffic.

“The Coast Guard remains committed to balancing security issues for the NATO summit with the needs of Chicago’s waterways users,” said Capt. Matt Sibley, captain of the port for Sector Lake Michigan. “I am aware of potential inconveniences and economic impact to these restrictions. We will continue to work with all stakeholders and continuously evaluate the security needs to maximize waterway access.”

The goal is to develop and implement, with the other participating agencies, a seamless security plan that will create a safe and secure environment for the dignitaries, event participants and the general public.

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