Coast Guard establishes a security zone for the presidential inauguration

BALTIMORE – The Coast Guard will establishes a temporary security zone in designated waters of the National Capital Region for the presidential inauguration effective January 14 through January 25, 2009. At certain times during this period, security zone enforcement may limit or prohibit navigation by commercial and recreational waterway users.

The security zone will include the Potomac River from the Francis Scott Key Bridge U.S. Route 29 down to a position approximately two miles south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. The security zone will continue west on the Virginia shoreline to a position near Jones Point Light and east on the Maryland shoreline, including the Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin. The security zone also includes the Anacostia River from the New York Avenue Bridge U.S. Route 50 down to its confluence with the Potomac River.

While enforcement of the security zone may change due to unanticipated developments related to the presidential inauguration, the general enforcement plan is as follows:

1. Beginning on January 15 through January 17, 2009, the security zone will be open to all commercial and recreational marine traffic, but movement of commercial and recreational vessels may be restricted as inaugural events dictate. Restrictions will be broadcast and law enforcement assets will be on-scene to ensure vessels do not enter areas impacted by inaugural activities. Any recreational vessels in the zone must either moor or depart the zone each day prior to sunset. Any recreational or commercial vessel entering or operating within the security zone during this three-day period must contact the Coast Guard Patrol Commander via marine-band radio VHF Channel 16 or by phone at 410 576-2693 prior to entering or operating in the security zone; moreover, all such vessels should prepare to be boarded by the Coast Guard.

2. Throughout January 18 until 11 p.m. on January 19, 2009, the Coast Guard will prohibit recreational boaters from entering or operating inside the security zone. Recreational boaters moored within the zone must not move unless given specific authorization by the Coast Guard Patrol Commander. Commercial vessels with prior approval from the Coast Guard Patrol Commander may operate during this period.

3. Beginning at 11 p.m. on January 19, 2009, the Coast Guard will prohibit all vessel movement until inaugural events have concluded. The Coast Guard Patrol Commander will broadcast closure information on VHF Channel 16. Opening of the waterway is anticipated during the early morning hours of January 21, 2009. The Coast Guard Patrol Commander will broadcast the opening of the waterway.

4. From the opening of the waterway on January 21 through January 25, 2009, the Coast Guard will allow recreational and commercial traffic to operate in the security zone as inaugural events permit.

For vessels seeking authorization to enter or transit the security zone, contact the Coast Guard at 410 576-2693 or via marine-band radio VHF channel 16.

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