Coast Guard City

U.S. Coast Guard ship moored in downtown Wilmington

First on the East Coast

The very nature of the Coast Guard's mission creates a need for a good relationship with the local community. Many cities have made special efforts to acknowledge the professional work of the Coast Guard men and women assigned to their area. The Coast Guard is pleased to recognize cities that have extended so many considerations to the Coast Guard family and their dependents.

In November 1998 a law was enacted that allowed Grand Haven, Michigan to be called “Coast Guard City USA.” The law also includes a provision for future designations and re-certification. In 2003, Wilmington became the first Coast Guard City on the East Coast. With that honor, Wilmington became the fourth Coast Guard City in the nation. As of 2024, there are 34 designations across the country.

Today's U.S. Coast Guard proudly performs 11 official missions:

  • Port & waterway security
  • Drug interdiction
  • Aids to navigation
  • Search & rescue
  • Living marine resources
  • Marine safety
  • Defense readiness
  • Migrant interdiction
  • Marine environmental protection
  • Ice operations
  • Law enforcement