Brown Fights to Keep Lorain and Ashtabula Coast Guard Stations Open Year-Round

In New Letter, Brown Asks Coast Guard to Reconsider Its Proposal to Reduce Operations in Lorain and Ashtabula

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following a proposal by the U.S. Coast Guard to seasonalize eight U.S. Coast Guard Stations – including those in Ashtabula and Lorain – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is working to maintain operations at the facilities year-round. The proposal would mean these locations would have limited response teams during certain times of the year and would have to rely on other nearby Coast Guard stations during the off-season. This could drive up response time and jeopardize public safety.

In response to these concerns, Brown wrote to the U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Paul F. Zuknft urging him to maintain 12 month operations at the sites.

“The coastal waters of Lake Erie are used year-round for trade and industry, and these two stations represent substantial resources to support public safety in the region,” said Brown in the letter. “Tourism and recreational fishing are major industries in northern Ohio, and Lake Erie plays a central role in Ohio’s economy. These stations ensure that Ohioans are able to take full advantage of the economic resources of Lake Erie year-round, without fear that their access to public safety assets is limited by the season.”

Brown also requested a meeting with the Admiral and local leadership to discuss the proposal. Brown’s office has been in contact with local Coast Guard stations and safety officials.

Text of the letter is below.

  

Admiral Paul F. Zukunft
United States Coast Guard
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20593-7000

 

Dear Admiral Zukunft:

 

I write you today about the recent announcement by the Coast Guard of its plan to seasonalize eight Coast Guard stations, including those in Ashtabula, OH and Lorain, OH. I believe the year-round operation of these two facilities in Ohio is essential to support public safety, national security, and regional commerce and trade. I understand the need to distribute funding according to need and I believe these two stations are an essential resource to the region.

The coastal waters of Lake Erie are used year-round for trade and industry, and these two stations represent substantial resources to support public safety in the region. Tourism and recreational fishing are major industries in northern Ohio, and Lake Erie plays a central role in Ohio’s economy. These stations ensure that Ohioans are able to take full advantage of the economic resources of Lake Erie year-round, without fear that their access to public safety assets is limited by the season.

In addition, ensuring the security and integrity of our national borders is essential to our national security—including water-based borders like the 262 mile shoreline along Lake Erie. The Coast Guard plays a crucial role in ensuring the integrity of our border, and the Ashtabula and Lorain stations are integral towards these efforts. These stations ensure constant vigilance along our border – drug trafficking and illegal immigration are not limited by season.

Lorain and Ashtabula stations play an important role in supporting tourism, a safe fishing industry, the trade transport system and national security year-round. The continued operation of these Coast Guard stations provides crucial support to these industries. I respectfully request the opportunity to discuss these measures in person with you and local community leaders.

I look forward to working with you on this important issue, and thank you for your service to our nation.

 

Sincerely,

 

Sherrod Brown
United States Senator

 

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