Protecting the Gulf and the Heartland
The Eighth Coast Guard District, headquartered in New Orleans, covers all or part of 26 states throughout the Gulf Coast and heartland of America. It stretches from the Appalachian Mountains and Chattahoochee River in the east, to the Rocky Mountains in the west, and from the border between the U.S. and Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border in North Dakota. Part of the Department of Homeland Security, the men and women of the Eighth District are vital in protecting the 900 miles of coastline and 10,300 miles of inland navigable waterways located in their area of responsibility.
The Eighth District is home to two of the nation’s busiest ports, New Orleans and Houston. More than two million barrels of oil and one million tons of cargo are imported daily. Seventeen of the top 40 busiest ports by tonnage are located in the Eighth District. Additionally, over sixty-five percent of the nation’s Liquefied Natural Gas activity and eleven percent of crude oil refining capacity are located in the Port Arthur/Lake Charles region alone.
There are more than 6,500 oil and gas producing wells, and 130 mobile offshore drilling units in the Gulf of Mexico that keep the district’s Marine Safety program gainfully employed. Five of the top seven fishing ports in the country are located in the district. They account for nearly 40 percent of the catch of U.S. commercial fishermen. Protecting America’s borders is the key to ensuring the free flow of commerce and the safety of our citizens.
There are approximately 4,400 active duty and reserve billets, 6,000 auxiliarists and 350 civilian positions assigned to the Eighth District. The Eighth District is also home to: seven sectors; four air stations; 15 small boat stations; 14 aids-to-navigation teams; and five Vessel Traffic Services.Surface assets include: seventeen 87-foot coastal patrol boats; 19 river tenders; one 225-foot buoy tender, two 175-foot coastal buoy tenders, and three 64-foot self-propelled barges. There are also three Coast Guard Auxiliary regions in the Eighth District’s area of responsibility.