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Did You Know that Elizabeth City is the 20th "Coast Guard City"?

Posted on 06/29/2020 by Visit Elizabeth City

United States Coast Guard decomissioned helicopter and boat at entrance of Base Elizabeth City

Ever since the U.S. Coast Guard made Air Station Elizabeth City its base in 1940, residents have welcomed and supported their beloved “Guardians of the Coast” and the important work they do keeping U.S. shorelines safe. On May 29, 2015 the special relationship between the base and community became official when Elizabeth City was designated a “Coast Guard City" by U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft. The ceremony took place on the lawn of the Museum of the Albemarle with approximately 500 people in attendance. With speeches by Coast Guard leaders and elected officials, plus the USS Shearwater docked on the Pasquotank River for public tours, it was a day of celebration.

Coast Guard rescue demonstration with helicopter and boat on the Pasquotank RiverElizabeth City is the 20th designated city, a distinction only earned by making special efforts to acknowledge the professional work of the area's Coast Guard men and women. Just in Elizabeth City, the Coast Guard employs over 2,000 personnel and supports 500 dependents and 700 military retirees! Throughout the years, Elizabeth City leaders and residents have welcomed the Coast Guard members of our city and their families by hosting an annual Coast Guard Week celebration and offering special discounts to personnel in local shops and businesses. In order to attain "Coast Guard City" designation, a city must demonstrate a broad range of activities, programs and more that show an unusual and sustained level of support for local Coast Guard members and their families.

The relationship Coast Guard Cities like Elizabeth City have with personnel and their families is apparent not only on a professional level, but a personal one too. We're all friends and neighbors who support each other every day. One way we're showing our support is with the new official Coast Guard Half Marathon, with the inaugural race happening in the spring of 2021!

The relationship the city has with the Coastie community is mutual; Coasties actively support the community as a whole. One of their volunteer programs, Partners In Education, features command-sponsored activities that create enhanced education opportunities and career awareness for students, especially those in underserved populations.

Every two weeks, 3-10 Coast volunteer Coast Guard members with local students showing artwork at schoolGuard volunteers visit local elementary schools to help students with reading, grammar, and other fun learning activities. One of the newest initiatives of this program allows volunteers stay and have lunch with the students they help - which the kiddos love!

A few more local places that benefit from the Coast Guard's philanthropy are the Food Bank of the Albemarle, Habitat for Humanity and Adopt A Highway.

We are extremely proud of our Coast Guard community and all of the great work that they do. It would be hard, if not impossible, to imagine Elizabeth City without the Coast Guard men and women in it, and we wouldn't have it any other way!

For more information about the Coast Guard Half Marathon and Guardians of the Atlantic 5K, check out the event listing


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