MIAMI – During this time of remembrance for those who lost their lives during the horrific attacks which took place Sept. 11, 2001, the Coast Guard wishes to remind the American public that without a doubt, America is safer today than it was six years ago.

“Through the tireless efforts of our members, the Coast Guard has increased awareness of cargo, people, and vessels entering, departing or transiting U.S. ports and waterways,” said Luis Diaz, the deputy public affairs officer for Coast Guard District Seven. “We’ve developed a maritime security system to address international shipping; we’ve increased our presence in ports and waterways for deterrence purposes; and we’ve built a greater response capability so that if an incident does occur we have the capabilities to adequately respond.”

Since transferring to the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 the Coast Guard continues to perform all of its assigned missions and have achieved specific accomplishments including:

  • Spearheading the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, which requires all ships and ports engaged in international trade to submit port facility and ship security plans to their home governments.
  • Requiring vessels to submit detailed and specific information (crew, cargo, etc…) 96 hours before arrival to a U.S. port.
  • Similar to a neighborhood watch, America’s Waterway Watch (AWW) was created by the Coast Guard as a means to allow waterfront users to detect and report suspicious activity that may be related to terrorism.
  • Stood up the Deployable Operations Group, whose mission is to provide organized, equipped and trained deployable specialized forces units to Coast Guard and interagency operational and tactical commanders.

America’s ports and waterways are safer and more secure today than they were six years ago. The Coast Guard will, however, continue to pursue initiatives, technologies and programs to identify and mitigate threats to our 361 ports and 95 thousand miles of shoreline.

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