United States Coast Guard Cutter ELM (WLB 204), the fourth 225-foot "Juniper" Class Seagoing Buoy Tender, was constructed in Marinette, Wisconsin by Marinette Marine Corporation following the laying of her keel in July of 1997. ELM was launched in January of 1998, and commissioned in November 1998. She is the third U.S. buoy tender named ELM. The first ELM, which served in the U.S. Light House Service, was 101 feet in length and built in East Boothbay, ME, in 1918. She was stationed in Tomkinsville, NY and serviced aids to navigation in the Detroit and St. Clair rivers until 1934.
The second ELM, a 72-foot buoy tender commissioned on April 1, 1938, also served the U.S. Light House Service. However, in 1939 she was transferred to the Coast Guard when that agency absorbed the duties of the Light House Service. She was stationed in Atlantic City, NJ, maintaining aids to navigation in the New Jersey area from her commissioning until decommissioning on July 30, 1969.
Today's Coast Guard Cutter ELM has the primary mission of servicing over 230 aids to navigation ranging from the North Carolina and South Carolina border to Shark River Inlet in New Jersy. Its secondary missions include fisheries law enforcement, alien migration interdiction, ice breaking operations and oil skimming. ELM's crew recently earned a unit citation for serving with distinction as an oil skimming asset during the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Skimming in the Gulf of Mexico during Deepwater Horizon Response. ELM collected over 500,000 gallons of oil.