Saturday, April 12, 2008

Clearwater Wants To Be "Coast Guard City"

The Coast Guard Air Station in Clearwater is the largest and busiest in the service. Every day crews fly missions the eastern Gulf down to South America and the Caribbean. About 600 personnel are stationed at the air station and at Sand Key.

The Navy League wants to help Clearwater apply to become a “Coast Guard City", Becoming a Coast Guard City is a great honor, giving a city prestige and “bragging rights”. There’s a long list of criteria and the commandant must recommend the city to Congress. Once the application is filed, inquiries are made to junior enlisted personnel asking how the city treats them. It could take 1 or 2 years, and community support is needed.

The first “Coast Guard City” was Grand Haven, Mich., which received its designation in the 1920s. Some other Coast Guard Cities are Alameda, Calif.; Mobile, Ala.; and Wilmington, N.C.

The Navy League was founded by Teddy Roosevelt in 1902 to remind the public of seamen and their dedication to our country. The league supports the Merchant Marine, The Coast Guard, the Marine Corps and the Navy. The Clearwater Council adopted the air station a few years ago.

Claudia Huber, chair of the chamber’s tourism and marketing committee and sales and marketing director of the Holiday Inn Gulfview, is working to get local businesses involved. “Our committee took this on as a project and we expect it will take a year or two to meet all the criteria. The Coast Guard wants to be sure we appreciate them,” she said.

Huber outlined some plans that are under consideration, including welcome packets for new Coast Guard personnel and families, and pertinent information on schools, doctors, recreation, restaurants, hotels, etc. There is also talk of organizing events in Clearwater that recognize the service.

No comments:

Sand Key News