Twelve people have commented on a new security zone the Coast Guard is proposing near President Trump's retreat Mar-a-Lago at Palm Beach. Comment began on June 20 and ended on July 20. (Scroll down for all for proposed restrictions and comments.)
The zone and added security is very similar to those seen during presidential visits earlier this year. The Coast Guard hopes to have restrictions in place by fall, when the President is expected to return to his Florida golf resort.
This rule would put limits on where and how boats can travel through the area of the Lake Worth Lagoon, the Intracoastal Waterway and the ocean around Mar-a-Lago and the Southern Boulevard Bridge. The rules would essentially establish a permanent security zone, with the same restrictions that were in place when the video below was aired last fall. As in 2016, the restrictions would only be in effect when the President or other top officials were visiting the resort.
One comment was added since this story was first posted on Wednesday, July 19. It follows immediately below this video.
My name is Thomas Machate I am a Police Officer with the Town of Palm Beach Police Department marine unit. I have spoke to residents in the area near the Mar-a-lago club and would like to pass along their concerns. The residents that I have spoken with would like a safety zone set up in the water in the area around Mar-a-lago. This could easily be done the way it is currently around the Florida Power and Light power plant in West Palm Beach by placing floating buoys in the frozen area advising boaters that this area is not accessible.Thomas Machate
My concerns are that by dredging this area and not having a safety zone in place is that it will attract sailboaters to this area creating a safety concern as these boaters are not always on board their vessels as well as disposing of sanitation waste. When the secret service attempts to shut this area down when the president is at Mar-a-lago we could have so many vessels in this area, and that we would have no place to put them. This would be extremely time consuming. I also am concerned about the safety of Mar-a-lago. Without the safety zone boaters will be able to just pull up to the seawall at Mar-a-Lago and walk right onto the Presidents winter residence.
The following are earlier comments:
As far as general comment, I understand the need for the protection outlined when the President is in town - notwithstanding the fact that it is very alarming that the country, state and town are subjected to the inconvenience and cost of these all too frequent visits.
Specifically, we are residents that live on the inter-coastal right on the actual northern border line of the proposed "center" zone and I am still unclear as to what is allowed. This past year we were unable to use our kayak, paddle boards but we were allowed to use our jet skis. We also were sometimes allowed to have our boat (which sits in a slip in harbour) come pick us up at the dock and sometimes not. The rules as to how we could come and go seemed to change each week. I realized you are trying to put some order into this process and take any guesswork out of it but the way I read it now, we have to call the Port Commander each time we want to leave?
What did work fairly well, is that we communicated with the specific coast guard boats that were out in front of our property and they let us come and go in a reasonable fashion.
Good Luck and thank you for the consideration for all citizens! Alicia Mullen
Before reading this docket, I was not in favor of such a proposed rule of having more security and inconveniencing the taxpayers to allow our president the opportunity of more vacation time. However, once I read the docket, I have formed a better understanding of the situation. This proposed rule is to merely have a plan in place for when the president is there. This proposed rule will allow the community, both off and on land, to know what waterways they must avoid or the procedures to be granted permission to cross into the protected areas. I believe having this proposed rule in pace will be more beneficial to the taxpayers and citizens as long as they are properly informed when the heightened security measures are in place. It is much easier to enforce an established well planned rule than to fly by the seat of your pants at the last minute. Angela McDowell
As a neighbor to the Mar-a-Lago Club, we were not able to use our boat on several occasions this past winter. We were approached by security boats that told us that if we left the area we could not return. When we explained that we lived here and we would have to return, we were told that we would not be allowed to return.
It seems crazy that neighbors can not enjoy their boats and waterways just because Mr. Trump is now the President.
We very much disagree with the Trump Security Zones on the waterway that we have been able to enjoy over the past 20 years. William Moody
I am a resident of West Palm Beach and live in close proximity to Mar a Lago, on the intracoastal.
My issue with the security zones are that they limit recreation in the intracoastal when Trump is down here which is a lot more often than any of us thought it would be. Unlike what the newspaper reported, the intracoastal does get use other than as a "boat highway".
Currently, we aren't allowed to paddleboard or kayak unless we are acting like a boat, moving in a straight line in the channel, which is both impractical and dangerous (and difficult!).
I would like to see non-motorized vessels open to within a short range of the club, maybe 50' or so from the Mar a Lago seawall. This would also open Palmsicle Island to recreation when he is in residence.
Personally, since I live right across the water, I would like to be able to take the kayak or paddle boards out and back to Palmsicle island when he is in residence, or over to the beach on the causeway.
I would also like to mention that the way the coast guard speeds towards boaters is unnecessary and needlessly intimidating. I understand that they wish to escort boats up and down the channel, but having a coast guard boat speed towards you with a guy standing in the front manning a huge gun is not acceptable. Also, unless the boat has already been through the gauntlet, they think they should slow down and prepare to stop, which is exactly the opposite of what the coast guard wants boaters to do. It sends a really aggressive, unfriendly, and unneighborly message, and I would like to see that procedure changed. Hilary Patriarca
Dear Federal employees etc. who read these replies, thank you u for your service an attention.
I agree with the proposed safe zone as a Palm beach County/City of Lake Worth resident. We must keep any presidential administration safe... case closed on my part. I do have issue with the fines for first violation. Within reading and using whatever means necessary to determine suspicious behavior or probable cause:in lieu of these determined parameter, may 1st warning be a reduced fine for the 1st year.
There are many on our waterways extremely inept at keeping up with current guidelines... Let us relive them if no intent is found, for a vastly reduced citation. I'm all for safety and security and do not have issue with any inconvenience in order to protect our President, now or in future terms.
I thank you for your quest for local and citizen input. Thank you for your time and service to our country.
Respectfully, Debra Robert
This is not fair to the many neighbors in this area who are not allowed to use their boats any longer. Dana Landry
A significant regulatory action as defined by 3(f)(1) of Executive Order 12866 is defined by a regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may..."adversely affect in a material way the economy."
Can you please clarify why (1) this rule will NOT adversely affect the economy, and (2) why making this a Rule that shall be use government resources to enforce, is required or provides a cost benefit to the Citizens, in lieu of "temporary security zones" as referenced in Paragraph II of Supplementary Information. William Snyder
I have read with great distress in the Palm Beach Daily News about the proposed permanent Coast Guard security zones around Mar-a-Lago. I reside on a waterfront lot at 11 Lagomar (approximately 1 km. south of Mar-a-Lago). One of the desirable features of our property is the ability to kayak north along the shoreline amidst the bird sanctuary islands, away from the boat traffic on the west side of Lake Worth.
This ability will no longer exist with this new security proposal. While I wholly support the need to protect the president while he is in residence, I fail to understand this security measure becoming a permanent inconvenience. All waterfront properties within and close to the zones need to be formally consulted without having to read about such proposals in a daily newspaper. The lake is not just for motor boats, but kayaks also. Jennifer Dattels
Will there be obvious signage on the bridge and in the area advising those who kayak when POTUS or those under the security are "in house?" Will the Coast Guard display ensigns so people will not make innocent mistakes and wander into the zone? It would save the Coast Guard time and effort. That little lagoon area by the Southern Blvd bridge is a very convenient spot for kayakers. Mara Lago also has a huge flagpole that could hang a POTUS flag. God Bless Donald Trump. Anonymous
As I understand this, the temporary security zones become "permanent" only when the President, First Family or persons receiving Secret Service protection are present at Mar-a-Lago - they are not permanent as in restricting use of the waters 24/7/365. In other words it is only the rule that is permanently in place. This is a reasonable administrative change so that the Coast Guard does not need to do an ad hoc rule every time the President is at the property.
As for the larger issue of protecting Mar-a-Lago, though persons using the affected waters may be inconvenienced, the safety of the President and official guests must take precedence. William Snader