The Coast Guard has recently announced that they will be shutting down a portion of the Potomac River while President Trump is using the Trump National Golf Course in Sterling, Virginia. As the local Team River Runner program uses this part of the river each week, we feel the need to address this situation. As an organization, we do not discriminate in any way when welcoming new paddlers to our programs. We are nonpolitical. We have paddlers with political ideologies from all over the spectrum and we have businesses and organizations that we partner with that represent all political parties. This is not a political issue for us.
Additionally, we understand that security should be the top priority for the President, his guests and staff. It is our belief that both security and access can be created with a thoughtful discussion, looking at options that address both needs.
TRR schedules a weekly veteran family paddling program on the Potomac River at Riley’s Lock. This program has been operating for many years from May through November. Military participants build the skills to offer adaptive paddling to non-veterans with disabilities as well. A handicapped accessible put in is currently being designed to build this program-purposeful service for wounded or disabled veterans teaching non veterans how to paddle on the Potomac River.
Many veterans also bring their families to the weekly event. The local Elks Club#15 provides a free cookout for all participants. The Sunday Program on the Potomac River is a perfect way for military families to actively build stronger family bonds, and integrate with the community in many ways.
Yes, this decision affects the veterans and families in our programs but it also affects the children taking part daily in Calleva’s programs, Olympians training on the water, fishermen and any person who wants to freely use the water. We are hoping that the water loving community can come together and spark meaningful dialogue regarding this decision. We understand and support a reasonable security zone with open access for TRR, and the many other programs and community at large.
Should you be inclined, the public is able to make comments on this decision until August 9th, 2017. We ask that if you would like to comment on behalf of Team River Runner, please make sure that your comments are respectful and echo the information we have provided.
To leave a comment you can go to the website below and search USCG–2017–0448 to find the regulation to make a comment:
As always, we appreciate the incredible support we receive from the TRR community!