calls Great Lakes security inadequate
By Corydon Ireland and Matt Daneman
Democrat and Chronicle
Create a database to monitor Great Lakes boat traffic.
Currently, the Customs Service only records 10 percent
of boats arriving from Canada.
— U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer charged Monday
that security for the Great Lakes in an age of terror
does not match the security tightened around U.S. ocean
Schumer spoke at a Rochester Coast Guard station on the
east side of the Genesee River empties into Lake Ontario.
According to Schumer, the U.S. Customs Service determined
that in 2001, only 1,866 of the 18,000 boats crossing
Lake Ontario reported their arrival to federal officials,
as is required. Boaters headed for the United States from
Canada are required by law to call a toll-free number
when they arrive.
Failings like this, said Schumer, jeopardize Rochester
and other Great Lakes cities whose infrastructure and
population are vulnerable to terrorist attack. Schumer
outlined a number of steps he said need to be taken:
Increase security and law enforcement personnel.
Only four customs agents, Schumer said, are assigned
to the Rochester area.
Invest in new technology to monitor boat traffic
on Lake Ontario and other Great Lakes. This might include
sophisticated satellite and radar technology already
used to monitor coastal boat traffic on America‚Äôs
Create a regional task force for Great Lakes security.
This would include the Customs Service, the Immigration
and Naturalization Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, and
county and city law enforcement agencies.
“The motto of the post-9/11 world is that you
can never be too careful,” Schumer said.