FUNDING EARMARKED FOR COAST GUARD BASE IN CAPE MAY

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U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today announced President Obama has included $11 million in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget for the United States Coast Guard to fund the design and reconstruction of Pier 4 at the United States Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May. The Coast Guard had not planned to begin work on this project until 2017 but Senator Lautenberg, recognizing the serious need for repairs, worked on this issue with the Coast Guard and urged the project to be included in this year’s budget. President Obama requested the funding as part of yesterday’s budget proposal.

“The Coast Guard is the first line of defense for our nation’s shores and must have the proper infrastructure in place to safely and effectively keep New Jersey secure,” said Lautenberg, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which funds the Coast Guard. “This federal funding would help the Coast Guard continue protecting our nation’s seas and ports and provide critical assistance during search and rescue missions. I am pleased that this project has been prioritized and will work to make sure funding stays in place to upgrade the Coast Guard’s Cape May facility.”

This funding would rebuild Pier 4 in Cape May, which supports three 87-foot Patrol Boats. The patrol boats assigned to this location are responsible for performing critical safety and security missions along the coastal Mid-Atlantic region, including ports waterways and coastal security, search and rescue and law enforcement.

The pier had been maintained over the last 60 years, but has had serious damage over the years, which resulted in it recently being condemned. As a result, the patrol boats have been temporarily relocated. The $11 million would allow for the complete reconstruction of the pier.

Cape May has the nation’s only Coast Guard recruit training center and is home to the Coast Guard’s enlisted corps.

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