Here we are again, back in the thick of it with the City of Milwaukee's Department of Public Works requesting expanded opening restrictions on the Milwaukee river system. For those who don't remember or aren't up to speed the City of Milwaukee began to examine expanding the restrictions on bridge openings in April of 2018 and can be read up on in our previous blog post titled Battle of the Bridge Access. You can also keep up to date on this item by following the File: 171765
Ald. Bauman and the Public Works Committee are at it again, and this time they put their money where their mouth is. At the December 5th meeting, the Committee unveiled plans to direct the Commissioner of Public Works to send a letter to the United States Coast Guard requesting changes to Title 33 Sec 117.1093 which governs waterway access and bridge openings along the Milwaukee River System. The major changes are as follows:
Extend afternoon bridge hours from 4:30pm to 5:30pm, to 4:00pm to 5:30pm Monday through Friday.
Adopt a 2-hour notice for bridge openings between hours of 11:00pm and 7:00am.
If you want to see the City of Milwaukee's full letter to the USCG please follow this link: City of Milwaukee Letter of request to the USCG.
Your McBoat board is not taking this matter lightly. McBoat has already crafted a letter of opposition which can be seen here: McBoat Opposition letter. In addition we have reached out to local contacts and organizations to seek out their help and support to spread this knowledge in addition to working with the BoatUS Governmental Affairs division to ensure that your voices are heard. The City is saying they have already gotten your input and had hearings on this proposal despite never holding such a meeting! Have no doubt, we are fighting for your rights to waterway access!
What can I do?
Stay vigilant: watch our Blog here for updates, or better yet subscribe to it and get emailed every time we make a post!
Follow the USCG: Prior to changing any of the river rules public hearings must be held. The USCG will publish these hearings and McBoat will get the word out as well. But if you can get the word from the horses mouth if possible! You can find the USCG 9th District web page here: USCG 9th District Great Lakes
City of Milwaukee Residents: Contact your elected representative and tell them you don't want this change! McBoat has drafted a letter you can use which supports our mission to stop this change. You can download it here: McBoat Letter of Support. City of Milwaukee residents can find their Elected Officials here: City of Milwaukee Find Your Elected Official
Non-City of Milwaukee Residents: Even if you do not live in the City of Milwaukee you can still help! Waterways access is a Federal issue and as such you can call your Federal representatives. Call and write them to tell them that you do not want changes to the Milwaukee River System and that the City has not heard your voice! McBoat has drafted a letter you can use which supports our mission to stop this change. You can download it here: McBoat Letter of Support. Find your Federal elected officials: US Senate, US House of Representatives: Find your Representative.