"When Emma Lazarus wrote about America welcoming 'your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,' it was not an invitation to billionaire oil tycoons to use the waters surrounding the Statue of Liberty as a parking lot for their yachts," State Sen. Richard Codey, D-Essex, said in a statement Friday. "It is unsafe for navigation, unfair to others and completely antithetical to the spirit of one of the world's most compelling symbols of freedom and equal opportunity."
According to news reports:
Codey’s statement came after Russian-American oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler reportedly anchored his 370-foot vessel, Le Grand Bleu, next to the statue for weeks at a time between April and June, as shown in the image above provided by Tugster. Then Swiss-Italian scion Ernesto Bertarelli anchored 318-foot Vava II in the same waters, followed by German billionaire Reinhold Würth in 280-foot Vibrant Curiosity earlier this month.
Codey plans to introduce legislation, urging to Coast Guard to stop big boats from anchoring besides Lady Liberty. Here is a draft of Codey’s resolution:
A Senate resolution concerning the protection of the Statue ofLiberty by United States Coast Guard.
The Statue of Liberty is a singular and extraordinary feature off the coast of New Jersey, representing freedom for all citizens of the United States and welcoming various peoples fromaround the world; an
The statue is a prominent part of a national public park on the island on which it resides, open to anyone wishing to visit and learn about the statue’s history; and
Situated on an island, the public can enjoy spectacularviews of the Statue of Liberty from New Jersey and New York; and
Boaters may legally anchor in the harbor surrounding the statue, but most boaters do not linger in the harbor for long periods of time; and
Owners of mega-yachts may be using the harbor as something of a parking lot to avoid docking fees for their vessels, and these owners anchor their ships for days at a time in the harbor, blocking the public from viewing the statue; and
The wealthiest individuals taking advantage of a public space intended to be enjoyed by people from all walks of life isantithetical to the spirit of the Statue of Liberty; and
Liberty Island is situated in a heavily trafficked corridor,and the parking of mega-yachts for long periods of time mayincrease the navigational risk to other vessels and hinder the Coast Guard and other law enforcement vessels from responding to calls around the harbor in a timely manner; and
The long-term anchorage of mega-yachts presents asecurity threat to the entire harbor, including the statue; and
The United States Coast Guard is tasked, amongst other duties, to protect the harbor; and
It is entirely appropriate and in the best interests of the citizens of this county for the Coast Guard to prohibit long-term anchorage in the harbor surrounding the Statue of Liberty; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED
by the Senate of the State of New Jersey:
1. This House respectfully urges the United States Coast Guard to prohibit long-term anchorage in the harbor surrounding the Statue of Liberty to maintain the public’s ability to enjoy views of the monument and park and to protect against security risks.
2. Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Secretary of the Senate to the Commandant of the Coast Guard and to the Acting Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
This resolution urges the United States Coast Guard to prohibit long-term anchorage in the harbor surrounding the Statue ofLiberty. Boaters may legally anchor in the harbor, but most boaters do not linger in the harbor for long periods of time. The Statue of Liberty is a unique and extraordinary feature onthe coast of New Jersey, representing freedom for all citizens of the United States and welcoming various peoples from around the world. Allowing individuals to block the public from viewing the statue for extended periods of time is antithetical to the meaning of the statue. Urges United States Coast Guard to prohibit anchorage in area surrounding Statue of Liberty.