Sail Buffalo may have to leave US Coast Guard property

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(BUFFALO, NY) Sail Buffalo may have to pull up anchor from the spot on the Buffalo River it has called home for the past seven years. The US Coast Guard, which owns the property that the sailing club leases, needs the space back to improve access to the US Coast Guard lighthouse.

“This is typical bureaucracy at work,” said U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, (D, NY) who held a news conference surrounded by children at the sailing club, urging the Coast Guard to reconsider. “You can be certain they can achieve that goal without evicting Sail Buffalo, and that’s what we’re here to say today.”

The lease with the Coast Guard ran out in February of 2018. The club has been allowed to stay three extra summers before they need to get out at the end of 2020. “That’s not good enough,” said senator Schumer. “We want a permanent lease.”

“It would be a tremendous loss for Buffalo and our community and certainly for our kids,” said Ethan Cox, whose two sons are students at the sailing club. “They love coming down here for summer camp. It’s a great environment for them to learn to sail and boatsmanship in general.”

The Buffalo City Mission brings about 30 underprivileged kids here every summer to get a feel for sailing and learn a little bit about water safety, according to Susan Muscato. “I’m hoping it works out. This is such a great facility that they have here. They’ve invested so much in the area that they have that I would hate to see them have to move.”

“Asking the Coast Guard to exempt this organization should not be a heavy lift,” said senator Schumer. “I help the Coast Guard in many ways. I like the Coast Guard. I will be calling up the head of the Coast Guard, the Commandant, to say ‘Don’t do this, or you no longer have a friend in Chuck Schumer.”

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