Report: Coast Guard to create Potomac River buffer zone when Trump is golfing

Report: Coast Guard to create Potomac River buffer zone when Trump is golfing
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The Coast Guard plans to close off 2 miles of the Potomac River where it shares a border with President Trump’s National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., due to safety concerns, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The newspaper reports that many types of waterway vehicles would be restricted from entering the area if Trump or top White House officials are playing on the golf course, including kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddle boards, sailboats, jet-skis, motorboats and more.

Regular recreational river users, including injured veterans and Olympic athletes, are intensely against the new banned zone.

The new policy would block off an area known as Riley’s Lock, which is regularly used by a kayaking program for wounded and disabled veterans, as well as summer camps to take off for their river-related activities, the Post reported.

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“It’s just heartbreaking,” said John Deitle, a former marine.

“Granted, it’s his golf course,” added Deitle, who served five separate tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. “But he has other golf courses.”

Paddlers also blame the new security measures on the golf club's decision in 2010 to cut down hundreds of trees along the course’s shoreline. Some Potomac users said the move to remove the trees led to a clear line of sight of the course — a line of sight that now ties into Trump’s safety and security.

Officials at the White House and Secret Service did not respond the Post’s requests for comment.

Lt. Amanda Faulkner, a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard, told the newspaper that the new security measures would only be used when Secret Service puts in such a request, adding that the Coast Guard has shut down access to the area five times since March.

She said a “permanent security zone” would add additional convenience to boaters who would be able to know the exact parts of the river that are blocked off.

“In a lot of ways this is better for the public, because they have more information,” Faulkner told the newspaper.