The U.S. Coast Guard and the Manatee County Port Authority have entered into a cooperative agreement to establish a community based watch program to assist in the enforcement and implementation of a security zone on and around a dredge spoil island near Port Manatee known as Manbirtee Key.
The Manbirtee Key Security Zone became effective Jan. 1, 2008. Under federal regulations, commercial and recreational boaters desiring to enter the zone must first gain permission from the Coast Guard Captain of the Port.
This community watch program was designed to provide a mechanism for boaters to be granted access while maintaining the desired level of security in the area concerned.
Program applicants are required to:
- Complete the required application. (A government issued photo identification card will be required to establish identity.)
- Submit to background screening. (Applicants will be vetted using various federal terrorism watch lists. USCG licensed mariners are currently considered vetted for screening purposes)
- Attend a briefing on the Waterway Watch Program, standards of conduct and zone watch procedures.
Commercial and recreational boaters interested in participating in the program may contact the Manatee County Port Authority Seaport Security Department beginning \ to reserve a space in a briefing session. Applications will be accepted at the briefing sessions only. (Application provided below).