CLEVELAND — Coast Guard Sectors Buffalo and Sault Ste. Marie are scheduled to change names to Sectors Eastern Great Lakes and Northern Great Lakes, respectively, on Dec. 1, 2023.
The sector names are changing from their city name locations to their geographic areas of responsibility. The physical site locations of the Coast Guard facilities and the missions performed by these operational commands will not change.
Coast Guard sectors represent regional commands that ensure maritime safety, security, and stewardship throughout their geographic areas of responsibility. The Coast Guard’s Ninth District includes four sector commands that cover the entirety of the United States’ portion of the Great Lakes, performing Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, Pollution Response, Aids to Navigation, Marine Safety, and Ports, Waterways, and Coastal Security missions.
“By renaming these sector commands, we are emphasizing the entirety of their respective areas of responsibility in recognition of what is most important to the Great Lakes maritime community that we serve,” said Rear Admiral Jon Hickey, Ninth Coast Guard District Commander. “This change will better communicate to the American public and our maritime stakeholders on the Great Lakes the scope of responsibilities of their regional Coast Guard commands.”
Sector Buffalo, to be Sector Eastern Great Lakes, is located on Lake Erie near the mouth of the Buffalo River in Buffalo, New York. This sector is the operational and administrative commander for 11 subordinate field units which include eight multi-mission small boat stations, two marine safety units, and one aids to navigation team. The sector’s geographic area encompasses all the United States’ portion of Lake Ontario, the majority of Lake Erie, St. Lawrence Seaway, Finger Lakes, Erie Canal, and all surrounding navigable waterways.
Sector Sault Ste. Marie, to be Sector Northern Great Lakes, is located on the St. Marys River in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. This sector is the operational and administrative commander of 11 subordinate field units which include eight multi-mission small boat stations, one marine safety unit, and two aids to navigation teams. Additionally, this sector is the home of Vessel Traffic Service St. Marys River (whose name will not change) and Operation Taconite, the Coast Guard’s largest domestic icebreaking operation. The sector’s geographic area encompasses all of Lake Superior, northern sections of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron as well as all surrounding navigable waterways.
For further information regarding the sector name changes, please contact D9Planning@uscg.mil.