Zone Watch

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 Zone Watch application. (A government issued photo identification card will be required to establish identity.)
  • Submit to background screening. Possession of the following credentials is accepted as proof of meeting the background screening requirements:
    • Certified Law Enforcement Credentials
    • Certified Fire Fighter Credentials
    • Transportation Workers Identification Credentials (TWIC)
    • TSA Known Traveler Number – Number must be provided for authentication using the TSA Website.
    • Florida Concealed Carry Permit.
    • Individuals not meeting any of the above criteria, must obtain a background screening at their own expense. This can be accomplished by:
  • Applicants must bring their application and any of the above listed accepted proof of background screening to the Port Manatee Access Control Center at 1705 Piney Point Road, Palmetto, FL 34221, weekdays from 8 am thru 4 pm. Applicants will be charged a $50.00 fee to register in the required training. Applicants will be provided the training date at the time of registration.
  • Applicants become active Zone Watch Participants and issued program credentials upon completion of the required training.

If you have any questions, please contact Port Manatee Security at 941-722-6621

Zone Watch application

Manbirtee Key security zone graphic