Virginia Watercraft Owner's Guide

Naval Protection Zones

All vessels must operate at minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course within 500 yards of the U.S. naval vessel and proceed as directed by the Commanding Officer or the official patrol. Violations of the Naval Vessel Protection Zone are a felony offense, punishable by up to 6 years in prison and/or up to $250,000 in fines.

No vessel or person is allowed within 100 yards of a U.S. naval vessel greater than 100 feet in length. *Special note about operation in the Little Creek Channel: Due to Little Creek Channel's width of 150 yards, all vessels must exit Little Creek Channel when a U.S. naval vessel is approaching.

If you have questions about the Navel Vessel Protection Zone, contact Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads Waterways Management Division at (757) 668-5580.

America's Waterway Watch

America's coasts, rivers, bridges, tunnels, ports, ships, military bases, and waterside industries may be the terrorists' next targets.

If you see outwardly suspicious activity, or even behavior that makes you uneasy, please report it. Here are things to look for:

  • Unattended vessels or vehicles in unusual locations.
  • Lights flashing between boats.
  • Unusual diving activity.
  • Unusual number of people onboard.
  • Unusual night operations.
  • Recovering or tossing items into/onto the waterway or shoreline.
  • Operating in or passing through an area that does not typically have such activity.
  • Fishing/hunting in locations not typically used for those activities.
  • Missing fencing or lighting near sensitive locations.
  • Anchoring in an area not typically used for anchorage.
  • Transfer of people or items between vessels, or between vessels and the shore outside of a port.
  • Anyone operating in an aggressive manner.
  • Individuals establishing businesses or roadside food stands near sensitive locations.
  • Small planes flying over critical locations.
  • Persons attempting to buy or rent fishing or recreational vessels with cash for short-term, undefined use.

Call the National Response Center at 877-24WATCH or 911 to report suspicious activity.