The Ports and Waterways Safety Act mandates the USCG to study possible traffic density and assess the need for safe access routes for ships. The US Coast Guard coordinates with Federal and State agencies, and considers the views of the maritime community, environmental groups, and other interested stakeholders in order to reconcile the need for safe access routes with other reasonable waterway uses in the study area.


Moreover, US Coast Guard district commanders will focus on and schedule a Port Access Route Study for specific port approaches and international transit areas regarding the proposed ACPARS fairways within their areas of responsibilities. They will post these milestones on the docket by May 1, 2019. This initiative is expected to be completed by May 2021.

In addition, the study will analyze navigation routes to/from the ports identified to the proposed fairways described in the ACPARS as well as international routes to/from the US. Current capabilities and planned improvements in these ports to handle maritime conveyances will be considered as well.

Furthermore, the US Coast Guard will also analyze ports that are economically significant, that support military operations or are strategic for national defense along the Atlantic. This includes but is not limited to the following:

First Coast Guard District

  • Kennebec River/Bath, Maine
  • Port of Portland, Maine
  • Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  • New Bedford, Massachusetts
  • Port of Boston, Massachusetts
  • Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island
  • Long Island Sound Eastern Entrances
  • Groton, Connecticut
  • New Haven Harbor, Connecticut
  • Port of New York and New Jersey, including Port Elizabeth and Newark

Fifth Coast Guard District

  • Port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, including Camden-Gloucester City, New Jersey, Port of Wilmington, Delaware and New Castle, Delaware
  • Port of Baltimore, Maryland
  • Port of Virginia including Norfolk, Newport News and Hampton Roads, Virginia
  • Morehead City, North Carolina
  • Wilmington, North Carolina

Seventh Coast Guard District

  • Port of Charleston, South Carolina
  • Port of Savannah, Georgia
  • Brunswick, Georgia
  • Kings Bay, Georgia
  • Port of Jacksonville, Florida
  • Port Canaveral, Florida
  • Port Everglades, Florida
  • Port of Miami, Florida