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America’s Waterway Watch

U.S. Coast Guard’s Maritime Homeland

Security Outreach Program


Why America’s Waterway Watch

With more than –

•95,000 miles of shoreline

•300,000 square miles of water*

•Over 70 Million boaters**

Security is a job the U. S. Coast Guard and local first responders can’t do alone

*Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean

Service and CIA World Factbook

**According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) estimated

Boating participation in 2005 was 71.3 Million


America’s Waterway Watch

• To help prevent acts of terrorism and illegal activity, that jeopardizes maritime homeland security, by enlisting the maritime and recreational boating industries and the public to maintain a heightened awareness of activity in the maritime domain and the reporting of suspicious activity



Local Coast Guard & Auxiliary units developed outreach initiatives post 9/11

- Miami, FL

- Mobile, AL

- Baltimore, MD

- Boston, MA

- New Orleans, LA

- New York, NY

- Charleston, SC

- Chicago, IL

- Cleveland, OH

- Hampton Roads, VA

- Milwaukee, WI

- Grand Haven, MI

- Paducah, KY

- Seattle, WA

Alameda, CA


National Program Development

• “America’s Waterway Watch” established 10 Feb 2005 by

Commandant Instruction 16618.8

Coast Guard as “National Program Manager”

Appointment of “Auxiliary National Liaison”

• National program supports local initiatives

• Local autonomy with national support and guidance

• Local commanders & units allowed to develop programs considering resources and threats

• “Locally focused and Nationally connected”


What is America's Waterway


• A "force multiplier" for the USCG and local law enforcement

• A national program that builds on many local and regional programs

• A call for behavior change

• Targeted at people who live, work, or recreate on or near the water


Activity We’re Asking the Public To

Watch Out For

• Vessels that circle in and around pilings, particularly near commercial traffic.

• Vessels that loiter offshore, near commercial or passenger vessel activities.

• Any person who appears to be “casing” a boat or waterfront facility.

• Unusual diving or boating activity near dams, hydroelectric facilities or chemical and nuclear plants.

• Unfamiliar individuals photographing or making sketches or videos near vessels, bridges or waterside facilities.

• Persons who loiter near or ask specific questions about commercial / passenger vessels or waterside activities.


Activity We’re Asking the Public To

Watch Out For

• Boaters or others on the waterfront who seem to make an obvious effort to avoid contact with others.

• Persons who attempt to rent or buy fishing or recreational vessels with cash for short term undefined use.

• Persons who attempt to gain access to waterside facilities without proper ID.

• Anyone trying to forcibly access a boat or waterfront facility.

• Boaters who appear to be under the control of another party.




Places Of Interest



Places Of Interest



Places Of Interest



Places Of Interest





Places Of Interest



Places Of Interest


Cruise Ships / Ports

How We Are Promoting

America’s Waterway Watch

• By educating the maritime and recreational boating industries and the public to recognize terrorist pre-incident indicators.

• Establishing partnerships with national and local organizations and media.


How We Are Promoting

America’s Waterway Watch

By working closely with:

• U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

General public.

Federal, State, and local Law Enforcement, EMS & Fire services.

• Fish and Wildlife.

Marine Conservation Dept.

• Association of Marina Industries (MOAA and Int’ Marina Institute – merger)

• US Power Squadron

Boating Law Administrators

Various State Boating Registrations

• Citizen’s Action Network

• Citizen’s Corp

National Crime Prevention Council

• National Vessel Documentation Center

• Army Corp of Engineers


USCG Auxiliary Role

• Auxiliarists have a fundamental role in this program by:

– Acting as primary lead in outreach and awareness activities by informing the public and recreational boaters about the program and it’s goals

– Providing support to COTP (Captain Of The Port) for outreach to maritime industry and public at boat shows, during CG Aux ops, conducting presentations, and other public events

– Maintaining watchful eyes and ears while underway, on Patrols, Vessel

Safety Exams, Marina Visits


Outreach Initiatives

State Boater Registrations:

We have reached out to all states to include AWW material with registration renewal packages or registration cards.

19 states are currently providing AWW material to boaters

(over 1 million boaters reached annually)

- 3 more states are starting soon or agreed to do it next year

National Vessel Documentation Center:

-One brochure is sent out with each Certificate of

Documentation. 440,000 annually.


How is a Report Made?

America’s Waterway Watch Hotline:

(877) 24-WATCH

- Currently calls are received by the National

Response Center (NRC), tasked with taking suspicious activity reports via phone, manned 24/7.

- Located at USCG HQ, but not USCG run. Also

Serves members of the National Response Team.


What Happens To The Reports?

1. The NRC enters the information into Incident

Reporting Information System (IRIS)

2. That info is sent out to recipients in the area the report was received (COTP, FBI, State/Local, and other requesters)

3. FBI, State/Local, and COTP conduct possible follow up

4. The report is also downloaded into MISLE automatically from IRIS

5. National Infrastructure Coordinating Center (NICC) also receives all the reports


National Infrastructure

Coordinating Center (NICC) –

Suspicious Activity Reports

• Purpose: Provide documentation of suspicious activities related to Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources


• Threshold: moderate (7-10 per week)

• Source: Direct reports, North American

Electric Reliability Council ( NERC), NRC, others

– Coming soon: HSIN-CS

• Format: 2 Word documents (full and redacted)

• Distribution:

• Full version: Homeland Infrastructure

Threat & Risk Analysis Center (HITRAC), select NOC desks, FBI CT watch, USCG Maritime Intelligence Fusion Centers (MFIC), I&A

Sector Liaison reps

• Redacted: (No industry or U.S. person information) Senior Watch

Officer/other NOC desks, Homeland Security Operations

Morning Brief (HSOMB), ICE OPS center


Suspicious Activity Reporting


Example: Maritime Asset

The NICC would coordinate with the USGC desk at the NOC

*Thresholds= Reliability of the Report


Suspicious Activity Reporting to

National Response Center

Year – Number of Reports

2003 - 62 *Calls also include MTSA reporting

2004 - 893 suspicious activity and security

2005 - 934 breaches

2006 - 813

2007 - 801 (through Oct) Total: 3,503

• NRC has just recently been able to decipher what calls originate from the 877-24WATCH number and the 800-424-


•AWW makes up roughly 25% of all suspicious activity calls received by the NRC


AWW Success Stories

Stolen vessel from Oak Bay Marina in Vancouver,

British Columbia

A stolen vessel report was issued out to all of the Citizen Action

Network members in the Seattle, WA area in March 2007. A member later saw a vessel fitting that description and reported it to the NRC.

The NRC notified Sector Seattle and the local sheriff’s department.

The report was followed up on in Olympia, WA and it was the stolen vessel in question. The vessel departed the scene before investigators arrived, but gave them a tracking point and found the vessel on the

SW portion of the Kitsap Peninsula.


AWW Success Stories

Sayed Abdul Malike

• The investigation of Malike began in late March, 2003 after a Queens store owner told police that the suspect sought information on making a bomb

• Malike later traveled to Miami. He boarded a tourist ship for a sightseeing trip around the port. While videotaping the bridges they passed, he asked the Captain of the ship "about the infrastructure of bridges ... and about how close the boat could get to the bridges and cruise ships," After witnessing this unusual activity, the captain got his first mate to take the helm and immediately called 1-877-24-WATCH.

• Malike was arrested in NY attempting to purchase large amounts of explosives.

What’s Next?

• The recent National Small Vessel Security Summit highlighted several efforts that can further boost the reach and effectiveness of AWW

– Increase awareness/outreach through a concerted national awareness campaign including items such as public service announcements, advertising in major boating publications

– Develop training/education products provided through the CG

Sectors and/or CG Auxiliaries

– Development of a National Citizen’s Action Network (N-CAN)

• These elements make up a critical node in the draft

National Small Vessel Security Strategy.

• The Coast Guard is actively pursuing resources in support of these efforts

Citizen’s Action Network (CAN)

• CAN is a grassroots effort conceived by CG District 13 in the Pacific NW.

• It unifies waterfront citizens and business owners into an active, well informed and cost effective homeland security component working directly with federal, state and local maritime agencies.

• This model effectively takes AWW to the next level, actively engaging the port community as an additional set of eyes and ears on the waterfront.

• Fostering a National CAN will provide a uniform standard on leveraging the civilian resources in a port and will assist local CG units in avoiding potential implementation pitfalls.