Newburyport, Mass. surpasses ‘rigorous criteria’ to earn re-designation as Coast Guard City

A ceremony is held Saturday, December 3, 2016 at The Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport, Massachusetts to re-designated Newburyport as a “Coast Guard City.” During the ceremony, Rear Admiral Steven D. Poulin, commander of the First Coast Guard District, presented the proclamation officially recertifying the city to Newburyport’s Mayor Donna D. Holaday. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cynthia Oldham

A ceremony is held Saturday, December 3, 2016 at The Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport, Massachusetts to re-designated Newburyport as a “Coast Guard City.” U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cynthia Oldham

BOSTON — The city of Newburyport was re-designated as a “Coast Guard City” Saturday during a ceremony at The Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport.

During the ceremony, Rear Admiral Steven D. Poulin, commander of the First Coast Guard District, presented the proclamation to Newburyport’s Mayor Donna D. Holaday, officially re-certifying the city. Capt. Claudia Gelzer, commander of Coast Guard Sector Boston, read the proclamation.

“Despite the fact that there are more than 360 port communities in the Unites States, only about 20 of them have been designated as Coast Guard cities,” said Poulin. “Designation is special and the bar has been set high. The city of Newburyport has met the rigorous criteria and more. In fact, I think it’s more appropriate to say the city of Newburyport far surpassed the criteria.”

Since being originally designated a “Coast Guard City” in 2012, the city of Newburyport has continued to build upon its connection to the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Station Merrimack River by making the Coast Guard a focal point in its annual celebrations. The city also highlights Coast Guard contributions to the city’s maritime history through special civic events, and an annual awards program to honor individual standout local Coast Guardsmen.

The city also actively supports the local Coast Guard Auxiliary, demonstrating their appreciation for all the Coast Guard’s service components.

Newburyport officials have significantly enriched the lives of the Coast Guard men and women of Station Merrimack River with welcome aboard outreach and in-person education on community services, and provided home-cooked meals for the crew during galley renovations in 2013 and 2015.

The city also contributed generously to exercise facility improvements through a city grant program via the Coast Guard Foundation in 2015, demonstrating a deep respect and connection to their local Coast Guard as well as a concern for their health and well being.

Additionally, the city of Newburyport is developing additional opportunities to honor the Coast Guard and increase Coast Guard awareness into the future. The city hosted a Coast Guard Band concert in September 2016 as an extension of Boston Light’s 300th anniversary, and plans to offer development opportunities for Coast Guard Academy Cadets in the near future.

Poulin said it’s essential the Coast Guard continues to re-certify Newburyport as a Coast Guard City because it signifies the city’s enduring bond with the Coast Guard and is something that will mark our public service together well into the future.

In addition to the city’s present-day contributions to the Coast Guard, Newburyport is the birthplace of the Coast Guard. The U.S. Revenue Cutter Massachusetts was launched from Newburyport in July 1791, and served out of Boston. USRC Massachusetts was one of the first ten cutters operated by the Revenue-Marine, later to become the Coast Guard, and the first cutter to enter active service.

The Coast Guard City program began in 1998 endorsed by both Congress and the Coast Guard to recognize the support that Coast Guard personnel receive from a city. Designation as a “Coast Guard City” is for a five year period, but can be extended as long as the city continues to meet the criteria.

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