Coast Guard Units Conduct Largest Domestic Buoy Operation

CLEVELAND – Upon completion of the successful 2007 icebreaking season, the Ninth Coast Guard District is now restoring the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway aids to navigation system.

Operation Spring Restore, the largest domestic buoy operation, commenced March 21, 2007, with a goal of restoring 1,304 navigational aids, including lighted and unlighted buoys and beacons, by May 28, 2007. The aids, approximately half in the region, are taken out of service during the winter months due to decreased vessel traffic and to minimize damage from ice and inclement weather.

The Ninth Coast Guard District’s aids to navigation system facilitates safe and efficient maritime activity in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway region by marking safe passage for domestic, international, commercial and recreational vessel traffic. The Coast Guard manages 2,628 federal aids in the region.

To accomplish the aids to navigation mission, the Ninth Coast Guard District employs six Coast Guard cutters; five Aids to Navigation teams; five small boat stations with aids to navigation duties; the Lamplighters, civilian employees who manage the inland waters of Northern Minnesota, and partner with the Canadian Coast Guard and the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

In addition, the Ninth District Coast Guard Auxiliary helps inspect approximately 1,700 privately-owned aids to navigation in the region.

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