Official Coast Guard City

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Coast Guard Names Portsmouth "Coast Guard City" November 17, 2009

Coast Guard City Announcement December 16, 2010The Coast Guard's 5th District commander, Rear Adm. Wayne E Justice, and Portsmouth Mayor Dr. James W Holley III will hold a press briefing announcing Portsmouth as a Coast Guard City at 10 a.m. Wednesday, December 16th at the Lightship Portsmouth Museum. The Lightship Portsmouth Museum is located at Water and London streets on the Portsmouth waterfront.

Honorary Distinction

The Coast Guard selected Portsmouth due to the city's nearly 200 years of support. The honorary distinction is indicative of the productive, ongoing relationship between the Portsmouth community and local Coast Guard units, including the 5th District, Atlantic Area, Base Portsmouth and Sector Hampton Roads.
Proclamation Presentation


The shared history of Portsmouth and the Coast Guard began in 1820 when the U.S. Lighthouse Service anchored its first lightship off Craney Island. In 1870 the Lighthouse Service boat depot and buoy yard was established where N'Telos Pavilion is now located, and in 1874 the Sixth Life Saving District was established in Portsmouth.

Coast Guard City, Usa Program

The "Coast Guard City, USA" program was established November 13, 1998, after Section 409 of Public Law 105-383 was enacted to formally allow the city of Grand Haven, Mich., to become the first Coast Guard City. Since then, only seven other select cities have been awarded the designation before Portsmouth's selection.


The City of Portsmouth will celebrate this grand distinction with a community celebration in August 2010 in conjunction with the Coast Guard's 220th birthday. Plans for the Coast Guard City celebration will be announced in the spring!
Lightship Museum