It’s estimated that over 8 million tons of plastic contaminate our oceans yearly. Other environmental pollutants include illegal dumping and oil spills, to name a few. The Marine Environmental Protection Coast Guard works hard to benefit us all.
The MEPCG takes active steps to prevent things that damage our environment. They’re the frontline against pollution, but also from much more. This includes invasive species, but also criminal activity and smuggling.
The Marine Environmental Protection Coast Guard stops anything that could contaminate our ecosystem. They also work hard to help clean up our waters to keep us safe. Thanks to a specific program built for that purpose, they’re super-efficient.
They also help educate the public and prevent disasters before they occur. The Marine Environmental Protection Program is one way they do this. Read on to learn how the Marine Environmental Protection Coast Guard keeps us safe.
The Role of the US Coast Guard: A Close-Up
Since 1790, the US Coast Guard has kept national waters and the American people safe. For over two centuries, they’ve served a pivotal role in its national, border, and economic security. They’ve also kept up with the ever-changing and rich history of the Maritimes.
The Coast Guard consists of active, reserve, and volunteer units. Though they are a vital unit, not many are aware of what being a coast guard entails. Many underestimate what an average day for the coast guard looks like.
They handle search and rescue, stopping smuggling, to marine vessel inspections. All of which is only the tip of the iceberg. Knowing what they go through and do in their line of duty, the coast guard isn’t a force to underestimate.
Many are unaware that part of the Coast Guard’s job is protecting the marine environment and ecosystem. Managing oil spills and monitoring capsized vessels are good examples of this. Also, they keep an eye out and investigate potential locations harboring invasive species.
In fact, they have an ongoing initiative that highlights these – the Marine Environmental Protection Program. It’s designed by the Coast Guard with several other partnerships. A finer understanding of it will provide a deeper appreciation of what they do.
Delving into the Marine Environmental Protection Program
There has been a greater appreciation for keeping our oceans clean and safe. Such an endeavor has become so much more attainable with everyone’s combined efforts. The public sector, major industries, and the government are getting more invested and involved in this movement.
The Marine Environmental Protection Program is a direct result of that. It’s aided in regulating and implementing directives that protect the delicate marine ecosystem. Through it, the Coast Guard is able to implement five key initiatives.
This means combating any type of pollution before it happens. There are three ways this gets achieved. To be specific, through the use right equipment, proper training, and special procedures.
A good example of this is how we’ve become more efficient with containing a capsized vessel. Leaving it can lead to unexpected consequences . Some major ones are oil spills and potential fires on the ocean surface.
These can lead to severe pollution and in turn disruption and harm to the marine environment. The Coast Guard does their best to stop incidents like this before they start. Depending on the situation’s severity, they can partner with other organizations or volunteers
The second part of the program involves litigation and penalties for all illegal acts, both civil and criminal. Often, this can include any form of smuggling or even illegal border crossings. Enforcement by the Coast Guard is a role most of us are familiar with.
This covers narcotics or immigration issues. It’s likely one of the most high-risk operations the Coast Guard becomes involved with. An example of a less-high-risk application is the recent fisheries enforcement operation.
That said, many of us still fail to recognize how much officials put at stake during such operations.
Another aspect of the initiative is surveillance. Though it may have some nuances with Prevention, it still has its own importance. Its main goal is also to protect the marine environment with different approaches.
These include patrolling, monitoring, and inspections. These can either happen through boarding vessels, overflights, or harbor checks. Through proper surveillance, the Coast Guard catches certain activities.
This can include giveaways of illegal activities. It prevents ocean dumping or offloading of narcotics, and other illicit acts.
Sometimes, the Coast Guard will need to take action. This is what the response part is all about. When chemical or oil spills happen, there are aspects of the program that cover it.
The initiative aims to clean up and limit the overall impact of these spills. This can include marine science technicians taking samples of the water. They can also use special grade kits such as the Marine Environmental Response (MER) kits.
Documentation of the disaster is important too. By analyzing encompassing effects, better plans and responses are then formulated. At times, there will also be the need for international support and intervention.
This makes the Response aspect a wide-scale and multi-level goal and objective.
5. In-house Abatement
This is the final important aspect of the Marine Environmental protection plan. All Coast Guard facilities and ships need to comply with federal laws on pollution. They have to be as clean and efficient as possible, and waste as little as possible.
This is an undertaking that the Coast Guard takes to heart, as they don’t want to create pollution while they clean it up. For this reason, they’re always looking to improve and reduce their own footprint. The Marine Environmental Protection Coast Guard won’t get left behind.
Marine Environmental Protection Coast Guard
The Marine Environmental Protection Coast Guard does incredible and often thankless work. Because they care about our ecosystem and work to keep our shores safe from all threats, we can all thrive. This isn’t an easy process, which is why they are always trying to do more and do better.
Part of what they need to be successful is top-notch marine equipment. Without this, they won’t be able to do their jobs properly, and we’ll all be worse off for it. At ERL Inc., we’re America’s leading experts on what you need to do right by the environment, so contact us today.