Demanding environment, indeed. It is the busiest east coast port in America.
What would eventually become the United States Coast Guard actually started in 1790 under the Treasury Department: they were a Revenue Cutter Service. In 1915, Revenue-Marine was merged with the U.S. Lifesaving Service and the Coast Guard was born.
By law, the Coast Guard has 11 missions, all pretty much self-explanatory:
•Ports, waterways, and coastal security
•Aids to navigation
•Search and rescue
•Living marine resources
•Marine environmental protection
•Other law enforcement
A USCG “Sector” is a geographical area that contains multiple Coast Guard Stations. Sector New York, located on the grounds of Ft. Wadsworth and commanded by Captain Michael Day, has three stations under its jurisdiction: Kings Point (at the Merchant Marine Academy), Sandy Hook and New York, which is located on Bay Street.
I’m proud to say that Station New York is the largest station in the Coast Guard, with over a hundred active duty members and 10 small boats assigned.
The legal basis for the Coast Guard is Title 14 of the United States Code, which states: "The Coast Guard as established January 28, 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed forces of the United States at all times." Upon the declaration of war or when the President directs, the Coast Guard operates under the authority of the Department of the Navy.
As members of a military service, Guardians on active duty and in the Reserve are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and receive the same pay and allowances as members of the same pay grades in the other four armed services.
Coast Guard Day is celebrated throughout the country on August 4th each year – commemorating that day in 1790 when Revenue-Marine was born. The celebration is at the station in Ft. Wadsworth, a fantastic and fascinating place to bring the family. Consider attending – I know I will.
Finally, I want to mention that due to the singular efforts of Staten Island Borough Hall, the city of New York has achieved the designation of Coast Guard City. This is a formal title bestowed upon a community, by an act of Congress, for developing a unique and supportive relationship with a Coast Guard Station or Sector. As a borough, I believe it should install a deep pride in our identity; this is a great honor shared by only a handful of other cities throughout the United States.