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 U.S.-Mexico border and the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border in North Dakota, which includes 1,200 miles of coastline and 10,300 miles of inland navigable waterways.
In a typical year, the men and women of the Eighth Coast Guard District are involved in more than 6,300 search and rescue cases - saving 770 lives, assisting 7,900 mariners and saving $37.5 million in property. The district maintains 24,000 aids-to-navigation, responds to more than 4,200 marine environmental pollution incidents and conducts more than 1,500 law-enforcement boardings.
The ports of New Orleans and Houston, located in the Eighth District, are two of the busiest shipping ports in the nation, with more than two million barrels of oil and one million tons of cargo imported daily. Seventeen of the top 40 busiest ports by tonnage are located in the Eighth District.
There are more than 6,500 oil and gas producing wells, along with 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.
There are approximately 5,558 active duty and selected reserve members geographically located in the district, 3,956 of whom are assigned to Eighth District units. There are also 6,000 auxiliarists and 249 civilian personnel located in the district.
The Eighth Coast Guard District consists of seven groups, which oversee units and operations in a geographical area, three air stations, 12 marine safety offices and 18 marine safety detachments/satellite units. Additionally, there are 14 multi-mission stations, 14 aids-to-navigation teams, two vessel traffic services and five LORAN stations. The district is also home to 54 vessels, including: eight 82-foot patrol boats, four 110-foot patrol boats, 19 river tenders, two 180-foot buoy tenders, two 133-foot river tenders, seven construction tenders, ten 55-foot Aids to Navigation boats and three 64-foot self-propelled barges. There are three Coast Guard Auxiliary regions in the district's area of responsibility.
There has been a Coast Guard presence in the Gulf of Mexico and Midwestern regions for nearly two centuries. In the Gulf area, the Coast Guard's history ranges from the Revenue Marine Service Cutter LOUISIANA driving the British away from the Mississippi River levee area during the War of 1812, to the Coast Guard patrolling the Gulf for German U-Boats during World War II. In the Midwest, Coast Guard history includes establishing aids to navigation in the early 1900s, as well as marine safety missions and flood response. This Midwestern region, formerly known as the Second Coast Guard District, merged with the Eighth Coast Guard District in May 1996, creating the present expansive Eighth Coast Guard District boundaries.
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