Nov. 10, 2016
Dave Sanford
Deputy Executive Director
Office 941-722-6621

PALMETTO, Fla. – Port Manatee is proving its capabilities as a hub for regional security, having this week hosted a federally mandated Tampa Bay area maritime security

The annual event was hosted by the Port Manatee Security Department on Wednesday [Nov. 9] at the recently completed Port Manatee Emergency Operations Center, located in the Port Manatee Intermodal Building.

“By hosting this vital maritime security exercise, Port Manatee is again showing the value to our region of this new facility,” said Carlos Buqueras, executive director of Port

The Port Manatee Emergency Operations Center was inaugurated in September, when it hosted training for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office waterborne strike team. The center was completed with the assistance of federal port security grant funding.

Federal regulations require the U.S. Coast Guard to each year conduct a regional exercise to ensure proper coordination of law enforcement and maritime security personnel to prepare for potential security incidents. Port Manatee was selected to host this year’s event due to its location and the specialized capabilities of the operations center.

This week’s exercise included participation of security managers of more than a dozen Tampa Bay maritime facilities, as well as representatives of federal, state and local law
enforcement agencies.


Edmond Morris, a U.S. Coast Guard port security specialist, leads the Tampa Bay area maritime security exercise at the new Port Manatee Emergency Operations Center.