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James River closures planned for August

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The United States Coast Guard (USCG) plans to restrict boat traffic on the James River in August. USCG announced in the Federal Register of Tuesday, July 8, 2014 that it is proposing to restrict traffic on multiple occasions for an hour each time on weekdays between Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 and Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 along the river around Newport News, Va. to allow naval exercises. The U.S. Navy plans to test unmanned and remote control vehicles in the water.

USCG is taking comments on the proposed closures until July 23. Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow directions or fax your thoughts and suggestions to (202) 493-2251. If you have any questions, contact USCG Lieutenant Commander Gregory Knoll, Waterways Management Division chief, Sector Hampton Roads, Coast Guard at (757) 668-5580, HamptonRoadsWaterway@uscg.mil.

The activities and closures would take place in the base of the James River Reserve Fleet and Hog Island. The restricted zone would go from James River Channel Lighted Buoy 11 (LLNR 11595), upstream to James River Channel Lighted Buoy 44 (LLNR 11987), bank to bank. Restrictions would take place between the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. each weekday. No boats would be allowed to travel in the area during the listed hours without permission from the Captain of the Port of Hampton Roads or his designee.

The captain plans to publicize the closures by marine radio and other means. Because of the limited hours of the closures and advance warning, USCG figures that boaters can adjust their plans accordingly. Therefore, USCG determined that the closures would not create a serious economic impact on the area. While the Navy has done tests in the area before and may do so again, it currently has no plans for any other closures in the area or repeat of the tests.

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