Aerial photo of the USCG water tower in Cape May, NJ

10 NJ Facts About The Coast Guard

New Jersey has a long history and special relationship with the Coast Guard. It's one reason Cape May County was designated as a Coast Guard Community in 2015. 

Check out these 9 other milestones that give the U.S. Coast Guard a special place in New Jersey's heart.

  1. Federally funded life-saving stations graced Cape May County's shores as early as 1849. Some of these, including Ocean City's 1885 Life Saving Station 30, are still standing and operate as museums or civic buildings.
  2. The first permanent Coast Guard Air Station was in Cape May in 1926.
  3. In the 1920s, the Coast Guard patrolled the waters of the Jersey coast to foil rumrunners during Prohibition.
  4. During World War II, the Coast Guard Mounted Beach Patrol rode the beaches of Cape May County's barrier islands on horseback, as well as walked the sandy stretches with German Shepherds to watch for German U-boats.
  5. The only Coast Guard Uniform Distribution Center is located in Woodbine, NJ in Cape May County. The Center ships uniforms, medals, ribbons and accessories all over the world.
  6. Sewell's Point, the large expanse of oceanfront land where the 350-acre TRACEN (training center) is now located, was once the site of an amusement park, and was a facility shared with the U.S Navy form 1924-1946.
  7. The World War II-era Cutter Tamaroa, which played a key role in the rescue effort documented in The Perfect Storm was sunk in 2016 to help create an artificial barrier reef off the coast of Cape May. The site, about 30 miles off shore, was already home to other downed ships. 
  8. The oldest Coast Guard boat station is in Sandy Hook, NJ. 
  9. Air Station Atlantic City became operational in May 1998. Located at the William J. Hughes Federal Aviation Administration Tech Center at AC International Airport, the station serves as base to the orange USCG helicopters frequently seen along the South Jersey coastline and Delaware Bay. 

In August 2018, the Coast Guard is celebrating it's 225th birthday.  For more facts of interest not always NJ-based, visit to see 25 facts for 225 years of Coast Guard history