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Press Release | March 29, 2024

Santa Cruz safe water buoy to stay after public comment period

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Through the collaborative efforts of stakeholders and the positive engagement from the Santa Cruz maritime community, the Coast Guard made the decision not to remove the Santa Cruz Lighted Buoy SC (LLNR 4080).

“This decision underscores our commitment to prioritizing safety while ensuring that the voices of the community are heard and considered,” said Capt. Steven Ramassini, chief, Coast Guard Office of Navigation Systems.

The Coast Guard published a proposed change article in the Local Notice to Mariners, Jan. 10, 2024, proposing to remove multiple safe water buoys from the California coast and replace them with virtual-AIS aids to navigation, including the Santa Cruz Lighted Whistle Buoy SC. All proposed change articles solicit public comments from waterway users and stakeholders for consideration when making final determinations on changes to aids to navigation systems. The Coast Guard regularly assesses waterway risk and ways to leverage emerging technology to efficiently meet navigational safety needs.

“The Coast Guard extends its sincere appreciation to the maritime community of Santa Cruz for their active participation in the formal process concerning navigation safety decisions,” said Capt. Ramassini. “The invaluable feedback provided by the community has greatly contributed to our comprehensive understanding of the impacts associated with our proposed action.”

The Coast Guard's policy regarding establishing or changing aids to navigation is to consider and incorporate the opinions and recommendations of knowledgeable users regularly in evaluations of aids to navigation systems. At the end of the 8-week public comment period, the Coast Guard reviews all comments, along with waterway analysis data, and decides how best to proceed with a proposed project.  

The Coast Guard’s processes are conducted transparently and are open to public scrutiny to best serve the needs of our maritime stakeholders. The Coast Guard encourages continued engagement in this intentionally public-facing process to collectively safeguard our waters and ensure the well-being of all.

For additional questions, please contact Coast Guard District 11 Public Affairs at