The Port of Los Angeles is implementing a number of strategic initiatives that will have an impact on the boaters in the Port. Two in particular are the institution of Controlled Navigation Areas (CNAs) within the Port’s boundaries with the aim of improving water-side security and a Responsible Marina Program to enhance safety and security and improve the conditions of the 4500 boaters that call the Port of Los Angeles their home.
Map of Controlled Navigation Areas (CNAs)
One of the Harbor Department’s key focus areas in the Strategic Plan for Safety and Security is enhancing the port’s capability to detect and prevent an event that would threaten the security of the Port. Critical to this goal is controlling access to facilities and identifying anomalies that could indicate potential incursions into secure areas from the shore or water. We are moving toward this goal from the shore side through the credentialing of workers as part of the Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC) program.
In order to enhance access control from the water side, the Department seeks to amend the Port of Los Angeles Tariff No. 4 to create Controlled Navigation Areas (CNAs) in certain parts of the Harbor and in the vicinity of commercial docks and vessels. The purpose of the CNAs will be to exercise a level of control over the thousands of recreational vessels using the harbor in order to control water side access to facilities.
The Coast Guard and other members of the intelligence community have identified the need to control small vessels due to their historical use as a means to transport waterborne improvised explosive devices. The CNAs are a component of a larger program involving signs, shore-side and water-side cameras, and an increased waterborne presence by the Port Police. The goal of the program is to deter pier-side incursions to commercial facilities, or attacks on large vessels or cruise ships by small vessels. The decision to establish these areas is based on the following:
- The use of non-commercial vessels as a method of conducting a terrorist attack is an established terrorist methodology and a significant threat to the port. The tariff change will reasonably restrict recreational vessels from operating in areas where they may present a threat to commercial vessels or facilities. The CNAs will increase control of these vessels and reduce the vulnerability of a small vessel incident within the Port.
- The operation of recreational vessels in the immediate vicinity of large, hard-to-maneuver ships presents a safety and security risk. Numerous collisions and near misses occur each year throughout the world. This issue is of particular concern based on historical data indicating that commercial vessels visiting the port are getting larger each year.
- Federal, state and local controls such as these are common. Currently, Coast Guard Security Zones are in effect for the areas adjacent to San Francisco and Oakland airports, and the Port of Los Angeles tariff controls vessel operation in the vicinity of the Pier 400 causeway bridge (no vessels allowed) and in the vicinity of Cabrillo Marina (no jet skis allowed).
- The tariff amendment will not affect navigation or the main navigable channel. Controlling access to the proposed CNAs represents an important incremental improvement in enhancing the security of the port. It is compatible with shore-side efforts currently underway through the TWIC program and by the port to upgrade access control to port operated facilities.
The CNAs will improve security by enabling the Port Police to quickly identify vessels that represent anomalies and therefore possible threats to the port. The tariff change will also enhance navigation safety by controlling non-essential vessel traffic and ensuring that a separation zone exists between commercial and recreational vessels. Restricting water-side access for the areas identified will enhance the safety and security of over 10 miles of docks, shoreline, wharves, and other critical infrastructure.
Responsible Marina Program
The Responsible Marina Program focuses on the following three areas:
- Marina and vessel incentive programs
- Marina security enhancements and an upgraded “Marina Watch Program”
- Marina and vessel compliance programs, examinations and enforcement
Marina and vessel incentive programs will provide incentives for compliant boaters and marinas, including discounts on services for boaters, marina equipment grants, grants to marinas to dispose of vessels, and grants to bring older vessels into compliance with existing regulatory requirements.
Marina security enhancements and an upgraded “Marina Watch Program” will include Port-provided security systems and lighting to marinas, enhanced vehicle and vessel patrols, and a dedicated Port Police program manager for the “Marina Watch Program.” Critical to this program in the Wilmington area is the new Wilmington Port Police Substation.
Marina and vessel compliance programs, examinations and enforcement will include examinations of vessels and marinas for compliance with laws, regulations, and lease provisions. This effort will also include updates to the port tariff to ensure enforcement consistency.
The Responsible Marina Program is designed to improve the quality of life for the Port’s marina communities. It is not intended, nor is it a tool to remove from the marina privately owned vessels that are compliant with current Federal, State or Port regulations or tariffs.
The program is not designed to lower the percentage of live-aboard tenants as designated in the lease agreements with each marina operator. In fact, depending on the condition of the marina, its infrastructure, and the marina’s participation in programs such as the State of California’s Green Marina Program, the live-aboard rate may be raised.
The program is designed to ensure enforcement of current guidelines, to shift the burden of enforcement in certain areas from the marina operators to the Port Police, and to provide assistance to boaters and marina operators in their efforts to improve their infrastructure and remove derelict vessels.
The Responsible Marina Program and its policies will be implemented and practiced in cooperation with the Port of Los Angeles recreational boating community and marina operators in an effort to make the port a better place for our marina communities.