According to a news press release from Governor Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana, officials from the U.S. Coast Guard and state of Louisiana formalized an important maritime security partnership Tuesday with the signing of a memorandum of agreement.
The release stated that in August 2004, President George W. Bush signed into law the "Coast Guard Maritime Security Act
of 2004" which, among other things, empowers any state or local government law enforcement officer who has the authority to enforce state criminal laws to also enforce violations of federal safety and security zones.
According to the release, this agreement sets forth the framework and procedures by which Louisiana law enforcement officers working with the Coast Guard in the enforcement of safety and security zones will have the authority to stop, board vessels, and take enforcement action against persons found violating these zones.
The agreement extends an already great record of cooperation between the U.S. Coast Guard and Louisiana authorities, said Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco.
Louisiana is a state known for its diverse maritime activities, from commercial fishing and recreational boating to extensive use of ships and barges to carry critical supplies and cargoes, said Rear Adm. Robert F. Duncan, Commander Eighth Coast Guard District. Blanco’s written statement claims that this is the fourth such agreement executed in the Eighth Coast Guard District. Previous agreements have also been established in Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania.