Protecting the Pacific Northwest
Coast Guard Sector Columbia River and its units perform a variety of missions for maritime safety, security, and mobility. Ports Waterways and Coastal Security is a newer mission set added to the traditional missions such as Search and Rescue, Marine Safety, Maritime Law Enforcement , Counter Drug Interdiction, Undocumented Migrant Enforcement, Aids to Navigation and National Defense. Units also work for protection of natural resources through Maritime Environmental Protection and Living Marine Resources Enforcement.
Sector Columbia River encompasses the coastal region of southwest Washington and northwest Oregon. Resting in the middle of the Thirteenth Coast Guard District. Three Motor Lifeboat stations within the Sector cover the coast out to 50 nautical miles and the navigable rivers, bays and harbors. Station Grays Harbor serves the mid-Washington coast from Queets River south to the Long Beach peninsula including Grays Harbor (up to Aberdeen) and much of Willapa Bay (up to Raymond/South Bend and Nahcotta). Station Cape Disappointment covers the rest of the lower Washington coast, the northern Oregon coast from Tillamook Head to the Columbia River and up river to Puget Island. Station Tillamook Bay takes in the Oregon coast from Tillamook Head (about Cannon Beach) south to Cape Kiwanda (Pacific City) including Tillamook Bay (up to Bay City), Nehalem Bay and Netarts Bay. Station Portland serves the metro area on the Columbia River from Puget Island to Bonneville Dam and the Willamette River up to the Willamette Falls/Oregon City. The Astoria Aid to Navigation Team services minor aids along the coast and the lower Columbia River. The Kennewick Aid to Navigation Team services minor aids along the upper Columbia and Snake Rivers. USCG Cutter BLUEBELL (WLI 313) works out of its home port of Portland and services aids on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
Although normal operations center on the marine environment of the coast, the Air Station and Stations work closely with other agencies such as Sheriff Departments and Fire Departments to share our expertise or extra hands during inland search and rescue missions. Coordination using the Incident Command System allows a variety of agencies to work jointly for a mutual goal. Quick response by Coast Guard personnel during natural disasters such as strong winter storms or flooding continues to help the communities from the shore and far inland. HH60T capabilities allow it to be used for missions almost 300 miles off shore as well as into the heart of both Oregon and Washington.
Area of Responsibility: Queets River (about 47-32N) on the Washington Coast south to Cape Kiwanda (about 45-12N) on Oregon Coast and out to 50 nautical miles, Columbia River entrance east to the Tri-Cities area (about 119-02W or river mile 330) and up the Snake River to Lewiston, Idaho. Captain of the Port (COTP) and Marine Inspection Zone authority extend south to the Oregon/California border.