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Coast Guard re-defines various security zones near United Nations headquarters in Manhattan

Coast Guard safeguarding
United Nations headquarters

The U.S. Coast Guard is proposing new rules that would regulate how maritime traffic in the vicinity of the United Nations headquarters -- located on the banks of the East River in midtown Manhattan – could or could not transit various areas during the arrival or departure from the UN of the U.S. president, vice president or visiting heads of state.

The new rules would establish a permanent “United Nations Security Zone” in the East River in an area running from the foot of East 35th Street to the Queensboro Bridge, which will include waters of the East River extending out between 125 yards and 175 yards offshore from Manhattan.

Five other nearby areas, which the Coast Guard had been calling “security zones,” will be re-designated as “Regulated Navigation Areas” (RNAs), which will only restrict maritime traffic at certain defined times. The Coast Guard explained in a Federal Register notice published on April 19 that “we have determined an RNA to be a legally more appropriate tool than a security zone for certain areas…”

The notice said no person or vessel can enter or move within a Regulated Navigation Area for a period of approximately 60 minutes during the arrival or departure of a select group of domestic and foreign VIPs.

The public can comment of these proposed new rules by visiting and citing docket number USCG-2012-0202 by May 20.

Further information is available from Jeff Yunker, of Coast Guard Sector New York, at 718-354-4195 or [email protected].



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