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Congressman Dan Donovan

Representing the 11th District of New York


Donovan to Coast Guard: Clear the Yachts from Liberty Island

August 24, 2017
Press Release
After weeks of conversations with the U.S. Coast Guard, Donovan formally requests analysis of options to keep private yachts from obstructing the Statue of Liberty

Staten Island, NY – August 24, 2017….After several weeks of discussions, Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11) today formally asked the U.S. Coast Guard to initiate a review of how to best prevent private yachts from obstructing Statue of Liberty views. Earlier this summer, a mega-yacht was parked in front of the iconic statue for weeks, preventing regular New Yorkers from enjoying Lady Liberty.

Congressman Donovan said, “It’s sad that an issue of basic decency requires action by the U.S. Coast Guard. Some loafer who doesn’t want to pay docking fees for a mega-yacht can’t just sit in front of our country’s most famous statue for weeks on end. I’ve asked the Coast Guard to look into how to put an end to this nonsense.”

The full letter is copied below:

August 24, 2017

Captain Michael H. Day
United States Coast Guard
Sector New York
212 Coast Guard Drive
Staten Island, NY 10305

Dear Captain Day:

I write today with concerns regarding large yachts mooring for extended periods of time near Liberty Island. These vessels have obstructed views of the Statue of Liberty for months at a time, resulting in frustration and outrage from my constituents who pass Liberty Island during their morning commute aboard the Staten Island Ferry.

The Statue of Liberty is a beacon of tolerance, hospitality, and freedom, and all should have the opportunity to enjoy it. Many come from all over the world just to see Liberty Island, yet they end up disappointed when yachts obstruct their view. While the yachts’ anchorage is legal, it is beyond inconsiderate for their owners to leave them docked for weeks. Frankly, it is selfish – as they monopolize views of one of the city’s busiest attractions.  Furthermore, as many of these ships are foreign-flagged, it is my belief that they are using a loophole by mooring near Liberty Island, knowing full well that docking elsewhere would likely result in large berthing fees.

Therefore, I request that the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) conduct a study to determine the feasibility of imposing a limit on how long a vessel may dock near Liberty Island. These ships have negatively impacted many local tourism businesses that rely upon an unobstructed view of Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty. Moreover, many New Yorkers are frustrated with the extended mooring of these yachts as well.

I respectfully ask that the USCG conduct the aforementioned study. I appreciate your assistance in this matter.


Daniel M. Donovan, Jr.
Member of Congress