Boaters urged to 'keep eyes open' to aid homeland security
Contact: (Media Contact) Kelly Chesney 517-373-2520
MARCH 8, 2007
Secretary of State, U.S. Coast Guard
Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land today announced that more than 250,000 Michigan watercraft owners are being alerted to ways they can help protect the state's waters through the America's Waterway Watch campaign.
Information has been included with all March watercraft registration renewal notices and is available at Secretary of State branch offices. This is the third year the Department of State has joined with the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons in promoting the campaign, which encourages residents to become the "eyes and ears" of the country by watching over coasts, bridges, tunnels, ports, ships and other marine resources.
"Much like a Neighborhood Watch program, the America's Waterway Watch campaign calls on the state's boating communities to monitor their local marinas and waterways for any unusual activity," said Land, who oversees the titling and registering of Michigan watercraft. "With 3,288 miles, Michigan has more shoreline than any other state except Alaska. Keeping guard over that much territory would be impossible without the help of residents. By reporting suspicious behaviors to authorities, we can all do our part to help protect our waterways and state."
Joining Land to promote greater safety throughout the Great Lakes are Capt. Patrick Brennan, commander, Sector Detroit, Capt. Quain Kahler, commander, Sector Sault Ste. Marie and Capt. Bruce Jones, commander, Sector Lake Michigan.
"With the outstanding assistance of Secretary Land's office for the third straight year, the Coast Guard has been able to reach the vast majority of Michigan's boaters with this important message," Brennan said.
Under the campaign, residents are asked to report:
Residents are cautioned to not approach or challenge anyone acting suspiciously. Any concerns should be called into the National Response Center at (800) 424-8802 or (877) 24WATCH. Life-threatening emergencies and serious threats to property should be reported to 911 or called into the Coast Guard on Marine Channel VHF 16.
The Coast Guard and U.S. Department of Homeland Security sponsor America's Waterway Watch nationwide. For more information about the initiative, visit the Coast Guard Web site at www.americaswaterwaywatch.org.
Please visit the department's Web site at www.Michigan.gov/sos for complete information about all Secretary of State services and programs.