(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew and Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak dedicating the first week in August of each year as “Coast Guard Week” and honoring Cape May as the U.S. Coast Guard accession point was recently approved by the full Senate. The Cape May City facility is the only recruit training center in the country for the U.S. Coast Guard.
“The Coast Guard represents just one more piece of our state’s great history,” said Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland). “All of the men and women who enter the United States Coast Guard come through this facility, which prepares them for the work of responding to both man-made and natural disasters. It is an honor to host the facility in New Jersey; but we are especially proud to have the training center in Cape May. This measure is just one way we can recognize the importance of the work that is conducted here each day and honor all of those who are serving in the U.S. Coast Guard.”
“The U.S. Coast Guard is so important to the country and also to our state. It was among the first to respond to the 9/11 terror attacks and aided in recovery efforts during Superstorm Sandy. It is only fitting that we show our gratitude and appreciation to all those who are serving, and we can do that in a significant way each year with this measure,” said Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak (D-Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland).
The United States Coast Guard began as the Revenue Marine (later renamed the Revenue Cutter Service) on August 4, 1790, to suppress smuggling operations and collect custom duties and tonnage taxes. In 1848, Congressman William Newell of New Jersey set in motion a series of legislative maneuvers that led to the formation of the United States Life-Saving Service to assist distressed navigators. On January 28, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law “The Act to Create the Coast Guard,” which combined the Revenue Cutter Service with the Life Saving-Service to create the United States Coast Guard.
SJR-70 designates the first week in August of each year as “Coast Guard Week,” celebrating the birth of the Coast Guard on August 4, 1790, and honoring Cape May as the United States Coast Guard’s enlisted accession point and recruit training center.
The measure passed the Senate by a vote of 35-0. It passed the Assembly in March by a vote of 74-0 and now heads to the Governor.