The United States Coast Guard is a multi-missioned maritime service and one of our Nation's five Armed Services. Its purpose is to protect the Public, the environment, and U.S. economic interests - in the Nation's ports and waterways, along the coast, on international waters, or in any maritime region as required in supporting national security. The Coast Guard's core roles are Maritime Security, Maritime Safety, Maritime Mobility, Protection of Natural Resources and National Defense..
Coast Guard operations for Long Island Sound, including the south shore of Long Island and along coastal Connecticut are coordinated from a single command center located at Sector Long Island Sound, on the eastern side of New Haven Harbor. Nine other field subunits, strategically located throughout the Sound, work for this office. This includes approximately 500 active duty, 200 reservists, and 1200 volunteer CG Auxiliary members.
Search & Rescue and Law Enforcement response efforts are coordinated through one command center at Sector Long Island Sound and responded to by eight Small Boat Stations and one summer detachment. Stations are manned 24 hours a day to quickly respond to marine distress calls and enforce federal laws & regulations. Also, our four Coast Guard Cutters, the 140-foot MORRO BAY, the 87-foot CHINOOK, the 65-foot BOLLARD, and the 87-foot RIDLEY perform the same work.
To protect the environment we emphasize prevention to avoid chemical and oil spills from occurring in the first place. This includes inspection of oil tankers, chemical barges and cargo ships to ensure seaworthiness and compliance with federal and international laws. We share this responsibility with our Marine Safety Detachment located in Coram, NY as we inspect larger vessels visiting NY and CT ports within the Sound. We also monitor oil transfer and hazardous cargo operations to prevent pollution along the CT coastline and both the North & South shores of Long Island. Our Coram, NY field unit monitors those areas for Long Island while the main office in New Haven monitors them for CT.
In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Homeland Security became a U.S. defense priority, including the maritime security of America's "homeland waters" extending from our inland waters to the high sea. The Coast Guard works closely with Federal, State, Local and Industry authorities to ensure the security and integrity of the maritime domain through awareness, prevention, response, and consequence management. This maritime security effort includes monitoring and safeguarding ports, harbors, and waterways, various waterfront facilities including a nuclear power plant, bridges, vessels, personnel, and property from accidental or intentional damage, disruption, destruction or injury.
We work closely with the U.S. Navy to protect vital national defense interests in the Thames River such as the Naval Submarine Base, General Dynamics and submarine transits.
In winter, waterways can freeze and become impassable for maritime commerce. Our 65-foot Cutter BOLLARD breaks ice up to 12 inches thick and our 140-foot Cutter MORRO BAY breaks ice up to 30 inches thick.
Our two Aids to Navigation Teams, and the Cutters MORRO BAY and BOLLARD, service and position over 1240 aids including buoys, beacons, range lights and lighthouses throughout the Sound and its rivers. This includes securing heavy sinkers, changing lights, and repainting the navigation aids.
In addition, we ensure maritime safety and security in many marine events including fireworks displays, marine demonstrations, regattas, and marine festivals such as Operation Sail CT. Through the Coast Guard Auxiliary we offer educational services such as boating safety courses and free vessel safety checks for recreational and commercial fishing vessels.
"I revere that long line of expert seamen who by their devotion to duty and sacrifice of self have made it possible for me to be a member of a service honored and respected, in peace and in war, throughout the world. I will always be at my station, alert and attending to my duties... I shall endeavor to be a model citizen in the community in which I live. I shall sell life dearly to an enemy of my country, but give it freely to rescue those in peril."
If you feel your or others' maritime safety or security may be at risk call the Coast Guard. If on the water the Coast Guard can be reached on VHF radio channel 16. If landside you are encouraged to contact us via cell or landlines. A cell phone is a great tool but not all rescue assets carry them. Cell phones are one-on-one calls while VHF are broadcast calls. If you're in need of assistance, a broadcast VHF call can alert nearby mariners along with the CG that you need help.
Sector Long Island Sound
120 Woodward Avenue
New Haven, CT 06512
Phone: (800) 774-8724 or (203) 468-4401
Fax: (203) 468-4418