Gulf of Saint Lawrence
The Gulf of Saint Lawrence is the outlet of the North American Great Lakes via the Saint Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean. The gulf is a semienclosed sea, covering an area of about 226,000 square kilometres and containing about 34,500 cubic kilometres of water, which results in an average depth of 152 metres; the Gulf of Saint Lawrence is bounded on the north by the Labrador Peninsula and Quebec, to the east by Saint-Pierre and Newfoundland, to the south by the Nova Scotia peninsula and Cape Breton Island, to the west by the Gaspe Peninsula, New Brunswick, Quebec. As for significant islands the Gulf of Saint Lawrence contains Anticosti Island, PEI, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Cape Breton Island, Saint Pierre Island, Miquelon-Langlade. Half of the ten provinces of Canada adjoin the Gulf: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Labrador, Quebec. Besides the Saint Lawrence River itself, significant streams emptying into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence include the Miramichi River, Natashquan River, Romaine River, Restigouche River, Margaree River, Humber River.
Branches of the Gulf include the Chaleur Bay, Fortune Bay, Miramichi Bay, St. George's Bay, Bay St. George, Bay of Islands, Northumberland Strait; the gulf flows into the Atlantic Ocean through the following outlets: The Strait of Belle Isle between Labrador and Newfoundland: between 15 kilometres and 60 kilometres wide and 60 metres deep at its deepest. The Cabot Strait between Newfoundland and Saint-Pierre and Cape Breton Island: 104 km wide and 480 m deep at its deepest; the Strait of Canso between Cape Breton Island and the Nova Scotia peninsula: 1.0 km wide and 60 m deep at its deepest. Due to the construction of the Canso Causeway across the strait in 1955, it no longer permits exchange of water between the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean; the limits of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence vary between sources. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence as follows: Fisheries and Oceans Canada places the western limit at Pointe-des-Monts.
St. Paul Island, Nova Scotia, off the northeastern tip of Cape Breton Island, is referred to as the "Graveyard of the Gulf" because of its many shipwrecks. Access to this island is controlled by the Canadian Coast Guard. Bonaventure Island on the eastern tip of the Gaspe Peninsula, Île Brion and Rochers-aux-Oiseaux northeast of the Magdalen Islands are important migratory bird sanctuaries administered by the Canadian Wildlife Service; the Federal Government of Canada has national parks along the Gulf of Saint Lawrence at Forillon National Park on the eastern tip of the Gaspe Peninsula, Prince Edward Island National Park on the northern shore of the island, Kouchibouguac National Park on the northeastern coast of New Brunswick, Cape Breton Highlands National Park on the northern tip of Cape Breton Island, Gros Morne National Park on the west coast of Newfoundland, a National Park Reserve in the Mingan Archipelago on the Côte-Nord of Quebec. The five provinces bordering the Gulf of Saint Lawrence have several provincial parks apiece, some of which preserve coastal features.
The Laurentian Channel is a feature of the floor of the Gulf, formed during previous ice ages, when the Continental Shelf was eroded by the Saint Lawrence River during the periods when the sea level plunged. The Laurentian Channel is about 290 m deep and about 1,250 km long from the Continental Shelf to the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River. Deep waters with temperatures between 2 and 6.5 °C enter the Gulf at the continental slope and are advected up the channel by estuariane circulation. Over the 20th century, the bottom waters of the end of the channel have become hypoxic; the gulf has provided a important marine fishery for various First Nations that have lived on its shores for millennia and used its waters for transportation. The first documented voyage by a European in its waters was by the French explorer Jacques Cartier in the year 1534. Cartier named the shores of the Saint Lawrence River "The Country of Canadas", after an indigenous word meaning "village" or "settlement", thus naming the world's second largest country.
At just about the same period, Basques came to frequent the area for whale-hunting and trade with the First Nations people of the modern Canadian Atlantic and Quebec provinces. They left vestiges of their presence in many locations of the area—docks, graveyards, etc. Saint Lawrence Seaway Estuary of Saint Lawrence Atlantic Ocean Anticosti Island St. Lawrence Global Observatory The Gulf of St. Lawrence - A Unique Ecosystem, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Timing and position of late Wisconsinan ice-margins on the upper slope seaward of Laurentian Channel
Chicago the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450, it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area referred to as Chicagoland, the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States; the metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, the fourth largest in North America and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area. Located on the shores of freshwater Lake Michigan, Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed and grew in the mid-nineteenth century. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed several square miles and left more than 100,000 homeless, the city made a concerted effort to rebuild; the construction boom accelerated population growth throughout the following decades, by 1900 Chicago was the fifth largest city in the world.
Chicago made noted contributions to urban planning and zoning standards, including new construction styles, the development of the City Beautiful Movement, the steel-framed skyscraper. Chicago is an international hub for finance, commerce, technology, telecommunications, transportation, it is the site of the creation of the first standardized futures contracts at the Chicago Board of Trade, which today is the largest and most diverse derivatives market gobally, generating 20% of all volume in commodities and financial futures. O'Hare International Airport is the one of the busiest airports in the world, the region has the largest number of U. S. highways and greatest amount of railroad freight. In 2012, Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, it ranked seventh in the entire world in the 2017 Global Cities Index; the Chicago area has one of the highest gross domestic products in the world, generating $680 billion in 2017. In addition, the city has one of the world's most diversified and balanced economies, not being dependent on any one industry, with no single industry employing more than 14% of the workforce.
Chicago's 58 million domestic and international visitors in 2018, made it the second most visited city in the nation, behind New York City's approximate 65 million visitors. The city ranked first place in the 2018 Time Out City Life Index, a global quality of life survey of 15,000 people in 32 cities. Landmarks in the city include Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, the Willis Tower, Grant Park, the Museum of Science and Industry, Lincoln Park Zoo. Chicago's culture includes the visual arts, film, comedy and music jazz, soul, hip-hop and electronic dance music including house music. Of the area's many colleges and universities, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago are classified as "highest research" doctoral universities. Chicago has professional sports teams in each of the major professional leagues, including two Major League Baseball teams; the name "Chicago" is derived from a French rendering of the indigenous Miami-Illinois word shikaakwa for a wild relative of the onion, known to botanists as Allium tricoccum and known more as ramps.
The first known reference to the site of the current city of Chicago as "Checagou" was by Robert de LaSalle around 1679 in a memoir. Henri Joutel, in his journal of 1688, noted that the eponymous wild "garlic" grew abundantly in the area. According to his diary of late September 1687:...when we arrived at the said place called "Chicagou" which, according to what we were able to learn of it, has taken this name because of the quantity of garlic which grows in the forests in this region. The city has had several nicknames throughout its history such as the Windy City, Chi-Town, Second City, the City of the Big Shoulders, which refers to the city's numerous skyscrapers and high-rises. In the mid-18th century, the area was inhabited by a Native American tribe known as the Potawatomi, who had taken the place of the Miami and Sauk and Fox peoples; the first known non-indigenous permanent settler in Chicago was Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. Du Sable arrived in the 1780s, he is known as the "Founder of Chicago".
In 1795, following the Northwest Indian War, an area, to be part of Chicago was turned over to the United States for a military post by native tribes in accordance with the Treaty of Greenville. In 1803, the United States Army built Fort Dearborn, destroyed in 1812 in the Battle of Fort Dearborn and rebuilt; the Ottawa and Potawatomi tribes had ceded additional land to the United States in the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis; the Potawatomi were forcibly removed from their land after the Treaty of Chicago in 1833. On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of about 200. Within seven years it grew to more than 4,000 people. On June 15, 1835, the first public land sales began with Edmund Dick Taylor as U. S. Receiver of Public Monies; the City of Chicago was incorporated on Saturday, March 4, 1837, for several decades was the world's fastest-growing city. As the site of the Chicago Portage, the city became an important transportation hub between the eastern and western United States.
Chicago's first railway and Chicago Union Railroad, the Illi
Lake Erie is the fourth-largest lake of the five Great Lakes in North America, the eleventh-largest globally if measured in terms of surface area. It is the southernmost and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and therefore has the shortest average water residence time. At its deepest point Lake Erie is 210 feet deep. Situated on the International Boundary between Canada and the United States, Lake Erie's northern shore is the Canadian province of Ontario the Ontario Peninsula, with the U. S. states of Michigan, Ohio and New York on its western and eastern shores. These jurisdictions divide the surface area of the lake with water boundaries; the lake was named by a Native American people who lived along its southern shore. The tribal name "erie" is a shortened form of the Iroquoian word erielhonan, meaning "long tail". Situated below Lake Huron, Erie's primary inlet is the Detroit River; the main natural outflow from the lake is via the Niagara River, which provides hydroelectric power to Canada and the U.
S. as it spins huge turbines near Niagara Falls at New York and Queenston, Ontario. Some outflow occurs via the Welland Canal, part of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which diverts water for ship passages from Port Colborne, Ontario on Lake Erie, to St. Catharines on Lake Ontario, an elevation difference of 326 ft. Lake Erie's environmental health has been an ongoing concern for decades, with issues such as overfishing, algae blooms, eutrophication generating headlines. Lake Erie has a mean elevation of 571 feet above sea level, it has a surface area of 9,990 square miles with a length of 241 statute miles and breadth of 57 statute miles at its widest points. It is the shallowest of the Great Lakes with an average depth of 10 fathoms 3 feet (63 ft and a maximum depth of 35 fathoms For comparison, Lake Superior has an average depth of 80 fathoms 3 feet (483 ft, a volume of 2,900 cubic miles and shoreline of 2,726 statute miles; because it is the shallowest, it is the warmest of the Great Lakes, in 1999 this became a problem for two nuclear power plants which require cool lake water to keep their reactors cool.
The warm summer of 1999 caused lake temperatures to come close to the 85 °F limit necessary to keep the plants cool. Because of its shallowness, in spite of being the warmest lake in the summer, it is the first to freeze in the winter; the shallowest section of Lake Erie is the western basin. The "waves build quickly", according to other accounts. Sometimes fierce waves springing up unexpectedly have led to dramatic rescues. After being trapped for an hour-and-a-half, Baker was back on dry land and battered but alive; this area is known as the "thunderstorm capital of Canada" with "breathtaking" lightning displays. Lake Erie is fed by the Detroit River and drains via the Niagara River and Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario. Navigation downstream is provided by the Welland Canal, part of the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Other major contributors to Lake Erie include the Grand River, the Huron River, the Maumee River, the Sandusky River, the Buffalo River, the Cuyahoga River; the drainage basin covers 30,140 square miles.
Point Pelee National Park, the southernmost point of the Canadian mainland, is located on a peninsula extending into the lake. Several islands are found in the western end of the lake. Major cities along Lake Erie include New York. Islands tend to total 31 in number; the island-village of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island attracts young crowds who sometimes wear "red bucket hats" and are prone to "break off cartwheels in the park" and general merriment. Kelleys Island was depicted by the Chicago Tribune as having charms that were "more subtle" than Put-in-Bay, offers amenities such as beach lounging, biking and "marveling at deep glacial grooves left in limestone." Pelee Island is the largest of Erie's islands, accessible by ferry from Leamington and Sandusky, Ohio. The island has a "fragile and unique ecosystem" with plants found in Canada, such as wild hyacinth, yellow horse gentian and prickly pear cactus, as well as two endangered snakes, the blue racer and the Lake Erie water snake. Songbirds migrate to Pelee in spring, monarch butterflies stop over during the fall.
Lake Erie has a lake retention time of the shortest of all the Great Lakes. The lake's surface area is 9,910 square miles. Lake Erie's water level fluctuates with the seasons as in the other Great Lakes; the lowest levels are in January and February, the highest in June or July, although there have been exceptions. The average yearly level varies depending on long-term precipitation. Short-term level changes are caused by seiches that are high when southwesterly winds blow across the length of the lake during storms; these cause water to pile up at the eastern end of the l
Lock (water navigation)
A lock is a device used for raising and lowering boats and other watercraft between stretches of water of different levels on river and canal waterways. The distinguishing feature of a lock is a fixed chamber. Locks are used to make a river more navigable, or to allow a canal to cross land, not level. Canals used more and larger locks to allow a more direct route to be taken. Since 2016, the largest lock worldwide is the Kieldrecht Lock in the Port of Belgium. A pound lock is a type of lock, used exclusively nowadays on canals and rivers. A pound lock has a chamber with gates at both ends. In contrast, an earlier design with a single gate was known as a flash lock. Pound locks were first used in medieval China during the Song Dynasty, having been pioneered by the Song politician and naval engineer Qiao Weiyue in 984, they replaced earlier double slipways that had caused trouble and are mentioned by the Chinese polymath Shen Kuo in his book Dream Pool Essays, described in the Chinese historical text Song Shi: The distance between the two locks was rather more than 50 paces, the whole space was covered with a great roof like a shed.
The gates were'hanging gates'. The water level could differ by 4 feet or 5 feet at each lock and in the Grand Canal the level was raised in this way by 138 feet. In medieval Europe a sort of pound lock was built in 1373 at Netherlands; this pound lock serviced many ships at once in a large basin. Yet the first true pound lock was built in 1396 at Damme near Belgium; the Italian Bertola da Novate constructed 18 pound locks on the Naviglio di Bereguardo between 1452 and 1458. When a stretch of river is made navigable, a lock is sometimes required to bypass an obstruction such as a rapid, dam, or mill weir – because of the change in river level across the obstacle. In large scale river navigation improvements and locks are used together. A weir will increase the depth of a shallow stretch, the required lock will either be built in a gap in the weir, or at the downstream end of an artificial cut which bypasses the weir and a shallow stretch of river below it. A river improved by these means is called a Waterway or River Navigation.
Sometimes a river is made non-tidal by constructing a sea lock directly into the estuary. In more advanced river navigations, more locks are required. Where a longer cut bypasses a circuitous stretch of river, the upstream end of the cut will be protected by a flood lock; the longer the cut, the greater the difference in river level between start and end of the cut, so that a long cut will need additional locks along its length. At this point, the cut is, in effect, a canal. Early artificial canals, across flat countryside, would get round a small hill or depression by detouring around it; as engineers became more ambitious in the types of country they felt they could overcome, locks became essential to effect the necessary changes in water level without detours that would be uneconomic both in building costs and journey time. Still, as construction techniques improved, engineers became more willing to cut directly through and across obstacles by constructing long tunnels, aqueducts or embankments, or to construct more technical devices such as inclined planes or boat lifts.
However, locks continued to be built to supplement these solutions, are an essential part of the most modern navigable waterways. All pound locks have three elements: A watertight chamber connecting the upper and lower canals, large enough to enclose one or more boats; the position of the chamber is fixed. A gate at each end of the chamber. A gate is opened to allow a boat to leave the chamber. A set of lock gear to fill the chamber as required; this is a simple valve which allows water to drain into or out of the chamber. The principle of operating a lock is simple. For instance, if a boat travelling downstream finds the lock full of water: The entrance gates are opened and the boat moves in; the entrance gates are closed. A valve is opened, this lowers the boat by draining water from the chamber; the exit gates are opened and the boat moves out. If the lock were empty, the boat would have had to wait 5 to 10 minutes. For a boat travelling upstream, the process is reversed; the whole operation will take between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on the size of the lock and whether the water in the lock was set at the boat's level.
Boaters approaching a lock are pleased to meet another boat coming towards them, because this boat will have just exited the lock on their level and therefore set the lock in their favour – saving about 5 to 10 minutes. However, this is not true for staircase locks, where it is quicker for boats to go through
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located within the United States. The other four Great Lakes are shared by the U. S. and Canada. It is the second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third-largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron. To the east, its basin is conjoined with that of Lake Huron through the wide Straits of Mackinac, giving it the same surface elevation as its easterly counterpart. Lake Michigan is shared, from west to east, by the U. S. states of Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. Ports along its shores include Chicago; the word "Michigan" referred to the lake itself, is believed to come from the Ojibwe word michi-gami meaning "great water". Some of the earliest human inhabitants of the Lake Michigan region were the Hopewell Indians, their culture declined after 800 AD, for the next few hundred years, the region was the home of peoples known as the Late Woodland Indians. In the early 17th century, when western European explorers made their first forays into the region, they encountered descendants of the Late Woodland Indians: the Chippewa.
The French explorer Jean Nicolet is believed to have been the first European to reach Lake Michigan in 1634 or 1638. In the earliest European maps of the region, the name of Lake Illinois has been found in addition to that of "Michigan", named for the Illinois Confederation of tribes. Lake Michigan is joined via the narrow, open-water Straits of Mackinac with Lake Huron, the combined body of water is sometimes called Michigan–Huron; the Straits of Mackinac were an important Native American and fur trade route. Located on the southern side of the Straits is the town of Mackinaw City, the site of Fort Michilimackinac, a reconstructed French fort founded in 1715, on the northern side is St. Ignace, site of a French Catholic mission to the Indians, founded in 1671. In 1673, Jacques Marquette, Louis Joliet and their crew of five Métis voyageurs followed Lake Michigan to Green Bay and up the Fox River, nearly to its headwaters, in their search for the Mississippi River, cf. Fox–Wisconsin Waterway.
The eastern end of the Straits was controlled by Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island, a British colonial and early American military base and fur trade center, founded in 1781. With the advent of European exploration into the area in the late 17th century, Lake Michigan became part of a line of waterways leading from the Saint Lawrence River to the Mississippi River and thence to the Gulf of Mexico. French coureurs des bois and voyageurs established small ports and trading communities, such as Green Bay, on the lake during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Lake Michigan played a major role in the development of Chicago and the Midwestern United States west of the lake. For example, 90% of the grain shipped from Chicago travelled east over Lake Michigan during the antebellum years, only falling below 50% after the Civil War and the major expansion of railroad shipping; the first person to reach the deep bottom of Lake Michigan was J. Val Klump, a scientist at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.
Klump reached the bottom via submersible as part of a 1985 research expedition. In 2007, a row of stones paralleling an ancient shoreline was discovered by Mark Holley, professor of underwater archeology at Northwestern Michigan College; this formation lies 40 feet below the surface of the lake. One of the stones is said to have a carving resembling a mastodon. So far the formation has not been authenticated; the warming of Lake Michigan was the subject of a report by Purdue University in 2018. In each decade since 1980, steady increases in average surface temperature have occurred; this is to lead to decreasing native habitat and to adversely affect native species survival. Lake Michigan is the sole Great Lake wholly within the borders of the United States, it lies in the region known as the American Midwest. Lake Michigan has a surface area of 22,404 sq.mi. It is the larger half of Lake Michigan–Huron, the largest body of fresh water in the world by surface area, it is 307 miles long by 118 miles wide with a shoreline 1,640 miles long.
The lake's average depth is 46 fathoms 3 feet. It contains a volume of 1,180 cubic miles of water. Green Bay in the northwest is its largest bay. Grand Traverse Bay in its northeast is another large bay. Lake Michigan's deepest region, which lies in its northern-half, is called Chippewa Basin and is separated from South Chippewa Basin, by a shallower area called the Mid Lake Plateau. Twelve million people live along Lake Michigan's shores in the Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan areas; the economy of many communities in northern Michigan and Door County, Wisconsin is supported by tourism, with large seasonal populations attracted by Lake Michigan. Seasonal residents have summer homes along the waterfront and return home for the winter; the southern
Canals, or navigations, are human-made channels, or artificial waterways, for water conveyance, or to service water transport vehicles. In most cases, the engineered works will have a series of dams and locks that create reservoirs of low speed current flow; these reservoirs are referred to as slack water levels just called levels. A canal is known as a navigation when it parallels a river and shares part of its waters and drainage basin, leverages its resources by building dams and locks to increase and lengthen its stretches of slack water levels while staying in its valley. In contrast, a canal cuts across a drainage divide atop a ridge requiring an external water source above the highest elevation. Many canals have been built at elevations towering over valleys and other water ways crossing far below. Canals with sources of water at a higher level can deliver water to a destination such as a city where water is needed; the Roman Empire's aqueducts were such water supply canals. A navigation is a series of channels that run parallel to the valley and stream bed of an unimproved river.
A navigation always shares the drainage basin of the river. A vessel uses the calm parts of the river itself as well as improvements, traversing the same changes in height. A true canal is a channel that cuts across a drainage divide, making a navigable channel connecting two different drainage basins. Most commercially important canals of the first half of the 19th century were a little of each, using rivers in long stretches, divide crossing canals in others; this is true for many canals still in use. Both navigations and canals use engineered structures to improve navigation: weirs and dams to raise river water levels to usable depths. Since they cut across drainage divides, canals are more difficult to construct and need additional improvements, like viaducts and aqueducts to bridge waters over streams and roads, ways to keep water in the channel. There are two broad types of canal: Waterways: canals and navigations used for carrying vessels transporting goods and people; these can be subdivided into two kinds:Those connecting existing lakes, other canals or seas and oceans.
Those connected in a city network: such as the Canal Grande and others of Venice Italy. Aqueducts: water supply canals that are used for the conveyance and delivery of potable water for human consumption, municipal uses, hydro power canals and agriculture irrigation. Canals were of immense importance to commerce and the development and vitality of a civilization. In 1855 the Lehigh Canal carried over 1.2 million tons of anthracite coal. The few canals still in operation in our modern age are a fraction of the numbers that once fueled and enabled economic growth, indeed were a prerequisite to further urbanization and industrialization – for the movement of bulk raw materials such as coal and ores are difficult and marginally affordable without water transport; such raw materials fueled the industrial developments and new metallurgy resulting of the spiral of increasing mechanization during 17th–20th century, leading to new research disciplines, new industries and economies of scale, raising the standard of living for any industrialized society.
The surviving canals, including most ship canals, today service bulk cargo and large ship transportation industries, whereas the once critical smaller inland waterways conceived and engineered as boat and barge canals have been supplanted and filled in, abandoned and left to deteriorate, or kept in service and staffed by state employees, where dams and locks are maintained for flood control or pleasure boating. Their replacement was gradual, beginning first in the United States in the mid-1850s where canal shipping was first augmented by began being replaced by using much faster, less geographically constrained & limited, cheaper to maintain railways. By the early 1880s, canals which had little ability to economically compete with rail transport, were off the map. In the next couple of decades, coal was diminished as the heating fuel of choice by oil, growth of coal shipments leveled off. After World War I when motor-trucks came into their own, the last small U. S. barge canals saw a steady decline in cargo ton-miles alongside many railways, the flexibility and steep slope climbing capability of lorries taking over cargo hauling as road networks were improved, which had the freedom to make deliveries well away from rail lined road beds or ditches in the dirt which couldn't operate in the winter.
Canals are built in one of three ways, or a combination of the three, depending on available water and available path: Human made streamsA canal can be created where no stream presently exists. Either the body of the canal is dug or the sides of the canal are created by making dykes or levees by piling dirt, concrete or other building materials; the finished shape of the canal as seen in cross section is known as the canal prism. The water for the canal must be provided like streams or reservoirs. Where the new waterway must change elevation engineering works like locks, lifts or elevators are constructed to raise and lower vessels. Examples include canals that connect valleys over a higher body of land, like Canal du Midi, Canal de Briare and the Panama Canal. A canal can be constructed by dredging a channel in the bottom of an existing lake; when the channel is complete, the lake is drained and the channel becom
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is the coastal defense and maritime law enforcement branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's seven uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, multi-mission service unique among the U. S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the U. S. Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, can be transferred to the U. S. Department of the Navy by the U. S. President at any time, or by the U. S. Congress during times of war; this has happened twice: in 1917, during World War I, in 1941, during World War II. Created by Congress on 4 August 1790 at the request of Alexander Hamilton as the Revenue-Marine, it is the oldest continuous seagoing service of the United States; as Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton headed the Revenue-Marine, whose original purpose was collecting customs duties in the nation's seaports. By the 1860s, the service was known as the U.
S. Revenue Cutter Service and the term Revenue-Marine fell into disuse; the modern Coast Guard was formed by a merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the U. S. Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915, under the U. S. Department of the Treasury; as one of the country's five armed services, the Coast Guard has been involved in every U. S. war from 1790 to the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. The Coast Guard has 40,992 men and women on active duty, 7,000 reservists, 31,000 auxiliarists, 8,577 full-time civilian employees, for a total workforce of 87,569; the Coast Guard maintains an extensive fleet of 243 coastal and ocean-going patrol ships, tenders and icebreakers called "cutters", 1650 smaller boats, as well as an extensive aviation division consisting of 201 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. While the U. S. Coast Guard is the smallest of the U. S. military service branches in terms of membership, the U. S. Coast Guard by itself is the world's 12th largest naval force; the Coast Guard carries out three basic roles, which are further subdivided into eleven statutory missions.
The three roles are: Maritime safety Maritime security Maritime stewardshipWith a decentralized organization and much responsibility placed on the most junior personnel, the Coast Guard is lauded for its quick responsiveness and adaptability in a broad range of emergencies. In a 2005 article in Time magazine following Hurricane Katrina, the author wrote, "the Coast Guard's most valuable contribution to may be as a model of flexibility, most of all, spirit." Wil Milam, a rescue swimmer from Alaska told the magazine, "In the Navy, it was all about the mission. Practicing for war, training for war. In the Coast Guard, it was, take care of our people and the mission will take care of itself." The eleven statutory missions as defined by law are divided into homeland security missions and non-homeland security missions: Ice operations, including the International Ice Patrol Living marine resources Marine environmental protection Marine safety Aids to navigation Search and rescue Defense readiness Maritime law enforcement Migrant interdiction Ports and coastal security Drug interdiction See National Search and Rescue Committee See Joint Rescue Coordination CentersWhile the U.
S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue is not the oldest search and rescue organization in the world, it is one of the Coast Guard's best-known operations; the National Search and Rescue Plan designates the Coast Guard as the federal agency responsible for maritime SAR operations, the United States Air Force as the federal agency responsible for inland SAR. Both agencies maintain rescue coordination centers to coordinate this effort, have responsibility for both military and civilian search and rescue; the two services jointly provide instructor staff for the National Search and Rescue School that trains SAR mission planners and coordinators. Located on Governors Island, New York, the school is now located at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown at Yorktown, Virginia. Operated by the Coast Guard, the National Response Center is the sole U. S. Government point of contact for reporting all oil, radiological and etiological spills and discharges into the environment, anywhere in the United States and its territories.
In addition to gathering and distributing spill/incident information for Federal On Scene Coordinators and serving as the communications and operations center for the National Response Team, the NRC maintains agreements with a variety of federal entities to make additional notifications regarding incidents meeting established trigger criteria. The NRC takes Maritime Suspicious Activity and Security Breach Reports. Details on the NRC organization and specific responsibilities can be found in the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement database system is managed and used by the Coast Guard for tracking pollution and safety incidents in the nation's ports. The National Maritime Center is the merchant mariner credentialing authority for the USCG under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security. To ensure a safe and environmentally sound marine transportation system, the mission of the NMC is to issue credentials to qualified mariners in the United States maritime jurisdiction.
The five uniformed services that make up the U. S. Armed Forces are defined in Title 10 of the U. S. Code: The term "armed forces" means the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard; the Coast Guard is further defined by Title 14 of the United States Code: The Coast Guar