Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published July 16, 2019

July 16, 2019

The District Engineer has modified the existing danger zone in waters in waters of the Atlantic Ocean as described below:

Commanding Officer
U.S. Fleet Forces Command
Attn: Mr. James Casey
1562 Mitscher Avenue Suite 250
Norfolk, Virginia 23551-2487

The danger zone has been established within the Atlantic Ocean south of the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay adjacent to Naval Air Station Oceana’s Dam Neck Annex in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


ACTION: Modification of a danger zone published at 33 CFR §334.390 “Atlantic Ocean south of entrance to Chesapeake Bay; firing range”.

This regulation, promulgated by the Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District will identify the area within the current danger zone boundary where live fire exercises are no longer conducted and no restriction to surface navigation exists.  In addition, the proposed amendment will remove references to live fire range conditions and safety procedures as shore-to-sea gunnery operations are no longer conducted.

AUTHORITY: Pursuant to Section 7 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1917 (40 Stat. 266; 33 U.S.C. 1) and Chapter XIX of the Army Appropriations Act of 1919 (40 Stat. 892; 33 U.S.C. 3), The District Engineer has authorized the modification of a danger zone in waters of the United States adjacent to Naval Air Station Oceana’s Dam Neck Annex within the Atlantic Ocean south of the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia Beach, Virginia as follows:

THE REGULATION: 334.390 Atlantic Ocean south of entrance to Chesapeake Bay; firing range.  (a) The danger zone.   (1)  A section extending seaward for a distance of 12,000 yards between two radial lines bearing 030º True and 083º True, respectively, from a point on shore at latitude 36º46’48” N, longitude 75º57’24” W; and an adjacent sector extending seaward for a distance of 15 nautical miles between two radial lines bearing 083º True and 150º True, respectively, from the same shore position. The datum for these coordinates is WGS-1984.       (b)      The regulation.     (1) To accommodate ingress and egress within the southern approach to the Chesapeake Bay Federal navigation channels, no live fire exercise will take place within the area northeast of, and defined by a line intersecting points latitude 36º47’59” N, longitude 75º46’05” W and latitude 36º44’25” N, longitude 75º38’57” W, and this area is open to unrestricted surface navigation. (2) Within the remainder of the danger zone vessels shall proceed through the area with caution and shall remain therein no longer than necessary for the purpose of transit. (3) When firing is in progress during daylight hours, red flags will be displayed at conspicuous locations on the beach. When firing is in progress during periods of darkness, red flashing lights will be displayed from conspicuous locations on the beach which are visible from the water a minimum distance of four (4) nautical miles. (4) Firing on the ranges will be suspended as long as any vessel is within the danger zone. (5) Lookout posts will be manned by the activity or agency operating the firing range at the Naval Air Station Oceana, Dam Neck Annex, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. After darkness, night vision systems will be utilized by lookouts to aid in locating vessels transiting the area. (6) There shall be no firing on the range during periods of low visibility which would prevent the recognition of a vessel (to a distance of 7,500 yards) which is properly displaying navigation lights, or which would preclude a vessel from observing the red range flags or lights. (7) Throughout the entire danger zone anchoring, dredging, trawling and any bottom disturbing activities should be conducted with caution due to the potential of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and other munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) on the bottom. (8) The regulation in this section shall be enforced by the Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Va., and such agencies as he may designate.

EFFECTIVE DATE: August 15, 2019

DURATION: This order shall remain in effect until changes or formal regulations are developed.

CONTACT INFORMATION: For the latest information regarding the restricted area modification contact Nicole Woodard, Corps of Engineers Regulatory Branch at (757-201-7122 or check the website at  For information regarding technical issues associated with the danger zone contact Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, 1562 Mitscher Avenue Suite 250, Norfolk, Virginia 23551.


 William T. Walker
Chief, Regulatory Branch