ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Naval Support Activity Annapolis (NSAA) has submitted a formal request to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposing the establishment of three permanent danger zones in the waters of Carr Creek and Whitehall Bay. The danger zones will restrict boat traffic during range operations to mitigate safety risks and to comply with Department of Defense policy.
A 2019 Navy safety inspection concluded that range operations pose a risk to boating in these waters, violating DOD Unified Facilities Criteria. NSAAnnapolis has since been working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to establish Surface Danger Zones to protect local mariners when the firing range is in use.
“Safety is a primary concern at NSAAnnapolis, and we want to ensure that we have a security buffer between activity in the water and military operations, said Capt. Homer Denius, NSAAnnapolis commanding officer. “These danger zones are necessary to enable the safe operation of the United States Naval Academy firing range to support our Navy mission.”
The first of the three danger zones is in Carr Creek, and the other two are in Whitehall Bay. The proposed Danger Zones would prohibit all persons, vessels, or other craft from anchoring, mooring, loitering, or transiting while range operations pose a safety risk to the area.
The danger zone in Carr Creek will be restricted 4-6 times per week for range operations. The areas in Whitehall Bay will be restricted once or twice a year and do not block the entrance to Mill Creek.
“These Surface Danger Zones enable us to be responsible neighbors to Annapolis mariners,” said Denius. “We aim to impact as little boat traffic as possible and will be proactive in submitting a notice to mariners for upcoming operations.”
In addition to submitting a notice to mariners, NSA Annapolis will post a spotter monitor for vessel traffic in the danger zone. If a vessel crosses into the area, range operations will cease until the area is clear.
NSAA will post notices on social media and provide courtesy notifications to the Annapolis Harbormaster and local USCG Station Annapolis. Establishing these Surface Danger Zones will have no new effect on public access to Greenbury Point.
Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis is located across the Severn River from the US Naval Academy and is charged with delivering base operating support services to tenant commands. These include the United States Naval Academy, North Severn complex, Chesapeake Bay Detachment in Randle Cliff, MD, and Navy Operational Support Center in Baltimore, MD.
To learn more about NSAAnnapolis, visit https://ndw.cnic.navy.mil/Installations/NSA-Annapolis/.