BEAUFORT — Carteret County has been recertified as a Coast Guard Community, putting it among the ranks of only four counties in the nation to earn the designation.
Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard and the county presented the recertification during the County Board of Commissioners regular meeting Monday in Beaufort. The county was originally certified as a Coast Guard Community in 2015 and has to apply for recertification every five years to hold on to the designation.
“I deeply appreciate the years of continuing support Carteret County has given our Coast Guard women and men,” Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Commander Capt. Matt Baer said Monday, reading from a letter sent by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz. “I am pleased to inform you that Carteret County has been recertified a Coast Guard Community in recognition of your ongoing support.”
According to a release sent by the county announcing the recertification, a Coast Guard Community is an honorary designation established by Congress in 1998 that recognizes efforts to “celebrate the service and the sacrifice of the men and women of the Coast Guard.” The commander of the Coast Guard gives the honor with approval from Congress.
There are currently 29 cities and counties across the United States with the Coast Guard Community status, including four counties. Carteret was the third county to receive the designation when it was originally named in 2015. Only two other North Carolina cities, Wilmington and Elizabeth City, have been named Coast Guard communities.
“This is the highest honor the United States Coast Guard can bestow upon any community,” County B Chairperson Ed Wheatly said in the release. “Carteret County takes great pride in supporting the efforts of the Coast Guard members assigned to our area. We are proud of our partnership with the Coast Guard and honored that the County continues to be recognized as a Coast Guard Community.”
To retain its Coast Guard Community status after five years, the county must submit a recertification package by Monday, June 30, 2025, with evidence of ongoing support, such as programs and projects that foster positive relationships between the community and Coast Guard. Capt. Baer noted the Carteret County Military Affairs Committee is instrumental in not only putting on many of those programs, but it also helped lead the certification efforts.
“When you think only 29 locations around the entire United States have received a designation like this, and then only four counties have been designated as an actual community, that should just speak volumes to what the Military Affairs Committee here in Carteret County did just for this designation package,” he said, recognizing MAC Chairperson Lori Tulloch for her role in securing the Coast Guard Community status.
After reading the letter from the Coast Guard commandant and introducing some of his Coast Guard colleagues, Capt. Baer then read the proclamation declaring Carteret County a Coast Guard Community.
According to the proclamation, Carteret County’s relationship with the Coast Guard goes back to the 1880s when lifesaving stations were first established along the Core Banks and Cape Lookout. The country’s first-ever Coast Guard air station was established in Morehead City in 1920, though it was closed after just a couple years.
Today, the Coast Guard operates a sector field office at Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach and has stations at Fort Macon and Emerald Isle.
Contact Elise Clouser at firstname.lastname@example.org; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.