U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Thursday announced his push to improve coordination between the Coast Guard and state and federal agencies with overlapping jurisdiction on Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, the Niagara River and other western New York waters.
Schumer is pressing the Coast Guard to take a lead role in improving coordination among patrolling agencies.
"Rather than screen one boat six times, we should screen six boats one time. By streamlining our inspection process we can provide a better experience for recreational boats and free up security resources to protect the border, prevent smuggling and human trafficking and ensure that the river is safe," Schumer said in a statement.
"Responsible recreational boaters should be free to enjoy Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the Niagara River and other waterways without being stopped over and over again," he added. "We need the Coast Guard to take the lead and work with state and local authorities to come up with a system that protects our security without choking off all the fun of boating on these lakes. It's not just a matter of recreation, but of protecting our border and the local economy."
Schumer sent a letter to Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp after a series of media reports documented concerns about poor coordination among federal agencies that has resulted in recreational boaters being stopped multiple times by different agencies on the same day.