Press Releases

Bipartisan legislation ensures Coast Guard has tools needed to continue safeguarding Delaware waters  

 
 
 

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), was at the Indian River Inlet Coast Guard Station to celebrate passage of a bill that reauthorizes the work of the U.S. Coast Guard. This legislation, which President Trump is set to sign into law in the coming days, provides the brave men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard with the tools and resources they need to continue safeguarding our waters. Specifically, the bill includes:

  • Increases to operational and maintenance funding for their personnel and boats;
  • Funds for shore side infrastructure improvements;
  • Updates to leave policies Coast guard members and their families rely on;
  • Additional clarity on inspections and enforcement procedures for vessel boardings.

“The Coast Guard does an unbelievable job protecting our waterways, defending our borders, and executing missions in the most severe conditions. I’m proud that the Coast Guard Authorization Act – which will be signed by the President this week – provides the brave men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard with the tools they need to keep doing that incredibly important work,” said Senator Carper. “The provisions included in this bill, including increased funding for personnel and boats and funding for shore side infrastructure improvements, will go a long way at a small station like the one here at Indian River Inlet that serves the First State. Additionally, provisions like those that update the leave policies that Coast Guard members and their families depend on are simply the right thing to do, especially for those who work to keep all of us safe. At the same time, this bill also protects waters here in Delaware and across our country from the environmental risks posed by the spread of invasive species in ballast water. In a divided Congress, we found a responsible way to pass the Coast Guard Reauthorization agreement, and that’s a win for our Coast Guard contingent here in Delaware and the waters we all treasure.”

Today’s event also included an advancement ceremony for a member of the Coast Guard, Bosun’s Mate 3rd Class (BM3) Brennan Piemonte, who has served in the Coast Guard for three years and was promoted to 2nd class today.

The major piece of legislation, that is currently awaiting the President’s signature before it becomes law, also includes the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), a bipartisan compromise, negotiated by Senator Carper and his staff, that empowers the Coast Guard to protect waterways and ecosystems in Delaware and across the country by limiting harmful pollution and invasive species from watercraft discharges, including ballast water.

Additional background on the bill:

  • The bill passed the House on Tuesday, after passing the Senate on a 94-6 vote earlier this month. Read Senator Carper’s response to House passage HERE
  • Earlier this month, Senator Carper spoke on the Senate floor to tout the bipartisan agreement reached on VIDA. View that by clicking HERE
  • Additionally, VIDA was the subject of Senator Carper’s latest newsletter, which can be accessed by clicking HERE