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CCA Wins Potomac River Access Lawsuit

Published on 3/22/2019

VICTORY: CCA Secures Victory in Suit Against Trump Administration For Illegally Restricting Potomac River Access When Trump Golfs


“The paddling community has a voice and we effectively used it to execute change. The Potomac River is for the American people and we’re glad to see their access to it restored,” said Canoe Cruisers Chairman Barb Brown.


The Final Rule gives CCA most of what our lawsuit asked for, effective immediately.


The security zone now stops 170 yards above Seneca Breaks. This will provide free and clear access from Violette's Locke to GW Canal since that will now be outside of the Security Zone. Within the security zone, it establishes a 'Transit Lane' that is about half the river on the Maryland side; while this is within the security zone it is considered publicly accessible with permission of the Captain of the Port (COPT). From Riley's Locke a boater will have to paddle the Transit Lane to areas outside of the security zone.


One note of caution - the new rule does NOT create a free and clear right at all times to use the Transit Lane; use of the Transit Lane is with permission of the Captain of the Port (COPT). CCA will submit comments asking that this be re-defined to presume that the public has access within this zone, and that non-motorized watercraft be completely exempted.


As for public notification, USCG will provide notice on a website and a call-in number about whether or not the security zone is in effect.

Press Release

Ruling Posted on Federal Register

WAMU Article on Lawsuit Win

Washingtonian Article on Lawsuit Win

WUSA9 Article and Video on Lawsuit Win