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NEW: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago could get permanent Coast Guard security zones


The Coast Guard wants citizen and boater input on permanent security zones it plans to put in place in the waters around President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club.

For each of the president’s Palm Beach visits since taking office in January, the Coast Guard has issued a notice with three temporary security areas: Boaters are barred from traveling in the Intracoastal waters just west of Trump’s Palm Beach estate, and vessels are allowed to travel through but cannot stop in the Intracoastal closer to West Palm Beach, and in the Atlantic Ocean just east of the club.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: President Donald Trump in Palm Beach

“Due to the short notice given to the Coast Guard prior to these visits, the security zones were established without notice and without allowing for public comment,” the Coast Guard said in a proposed rule posted Tuesday in the Federal Register.

Under the rule, those temporary security zones would become permanent and go into effect when Trump, a member of the first family or another person under Secret Service protection visits the club.

Officials hope to have the rule in place before Trump resumes his seasonal Mar-a-Lago visits, expected to pick back up in the fall, the Coast Guard said.

“This action is necessary to protect the official party, the public, and the surrounding waterway from terrorist acts, sabotage or other subversive acts, accidents, or other causes of a similar nature,” the Coast Guard said in the notice.

The proposed zones echo the temporary restricted areas put in place for Trump’s previous visits as president:

• Zone 1: No vessels or person will be permitted to enter this zone consisting of the waters of the Lake Worth Lagoon from the southern tip of the Everglades Island in the north to approximately 1,000 yards from the south of the Southern Boulevard Bridge on the south and eastern shore line west of Fisherman Island.  

• Zone 2: All vessels transiting the second zone shall maintain a steady speed and shall not slow or stop from waters of the Lake Worth Lagoon including the Intracoastal Waterway from the southern tip of the Everglades Island in the north to approximately 1000 yards from the south of the bridge on the south and from the western shore line to the western edge of the Fisherman Island in the east. Vessels needing to wait for the Southern Boulevard Bridge to open in zone 2 are permitted to wait in this zone only for the draw bridge to raise for safe passage.  

• Zone 3: All vessels transiting the third zone shall maintain a steady speed and shall not slow or stop from waters of the Atlantic Ocean from the Banyan Road in the north to Ocean View Road in the south and from shore to approximately 1000 yards east of the shoreline.

Those who violate the security zones would face a civil penalty of more than $88,000, a criminal fine up to $10,000 or a 12-year prison term.

As part of the rule-setting process, the agency is looking for public comments on any potential impacts, whether environmental or economic. In its notice, the Coast Guard said effects of the rule would not be significant.

Comments on the rule may be submitted to the Coast Guard until July 20 via www.regulations.gov. Search for docket number USCG-2017-0016 and click “Submit a Formal Comment.”

For more information, contact Petty Officer Mara Brown, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard, 305-535-4317 or mara.j.brown@uscg.mil.



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