In February the Coast Guard boat stations along the Eastern Shore was publicized and a 60-day comment period was opened in the Federal Register to hear from concerned citizens. Over the last week, we have seen an increase in comments regarding this plan to consolidate resources in Oxford to Annapolis and St. Inigoes. Given our enduring ties to the Eastern Shore, I wanted to address some of the comments we have heard from the community thus far.
The Coast Guard is committed to protecting the Eastern Shore and serving its residents and visitors. We are committed to taking a methodical, fact-based approach before making any decisions that also considers the needs and opinions of the community. We have completed several studies, engaged the local community, and will continue to do so.
I would like to immediately dispel any belief that this resource decision means the Coast Guard is leaving the Eastern Shore. We will be there. Our Coast Guardsmen at Station Annapolis will be present in the waters surrounding Oxford, up the Choptank and Tred Avon Rivers. We will continue educating mariners on the water about boating safety. We will be standing by during the major marine events that draw in participants from around the country. We are listening for those in distress, and we stand ready to launch alongside our many nearby port partners.
As a waterside community you all know that even the closest resource is not as reliable as maintaining personal safety equipment like lifejackets, distress signals, fire extinguishers, and marine radios when recreating on the water. Please make sure you, your family and friends have the right equipment before heading out to enjoy the Bay.
Joseph B. Loring, CAPT, USCG
Commander, Sector Maryland-NCR