East River Closures for United Nations 64th Anniversary, General Assembly

NEW YORK – Security zones will be established and enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard on the East River, periodically restricting vessel traffic through the upper harbor near the United Nations Headquarters, from Sept. 20 to Oct. 1.

The East River closures have been requested by the U.S. Secret Service and are necessary to protect the President of the United States, U.S. Secretary of State and 130 international heads of state during the U.N. General Assembly located near the East River at East 43rd Street. The security zone includes all waters of the East River from East 35th Street to the Queensboro/59th Street Bridge.

  • A permanent security zone, (Zone 1), restricts vessel traffic within 175 yards of Manhattan in the West Channel of the East River. This area has been in effect since Sept. 11, 2001.
  • Zone 2: No commercial or recreational vessel traffic is permitted in the West Channel of the East River between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m except New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) sludge vessels. Vessels shall not transit the West Channel from East 35th St. to the Queesnsboro/59th St Bridge. Vessel transits of the East Channel (Queens) are permitted.
  • Zone 3: No commercial or recreational traffic is permitted in the East River between East 35th Street and the Queensboro/59th Street Bridge except the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) sludge vessel and escorted commercial passenger vessels with Coast Guard zone commander approval.

The Coast Guard will have more than 15 vessels providing increased patrol presence and will have rapid response teams on standby for waterway emergencies throughout the duration of the assembly.

Commercial passenger vessels will be escorted through the zone along the eastern shoreline at the discretion of the designated Coast Guard zone commanders.

Violations of these security zones are punishable by a $50,000 fine, 5 years imprisonment, or both.

Additional restrictions from Sept. 22 to Sept. 25, will be announced via a Coast Guard advisory notice and can be found via the Coast Guard Sector New York Homeport Web site.

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  1. Noralyn Marshall says:

    We are trying to get from Long Island Sound to the Atlantic in a sailboat with an 80 foot mast. Do the restrictions mean that we have to wait until October 2nd? Are there any windows open for transit, even at night. Does the bridge in the east passage open? The longer we wait the more dangerous it becomes for us to go offshore.

  2. cgnews says:

    I suggest you contact Coast Guard Sector New York 718-354-4037 http://homeport.uscg.mil/newyork

  3. Noralyn Marshall says:

    The bridge over the east passage of the East River will open between 7:00AM and 7:00PM, when the west passage is closed; hail them on VHF 13. The Coast Guard should have known that, but did not. As an aside, we started with the Coast Guard, called three times and got three different answers, all incorrect. NY City’s 311 got us on the right track, leading us to a conversation with the bridge tender.