The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Northern New England executes maritime response and prevention missions on Lake Champlain including search & rescue law enforcement, aids to navigation maintenance, environmental response, marine inspections and investigations.
U.S. Coast Guard personnel act as Federal On Scene Coordinators until the Environmental Protection Agency responds to an oil or hazardous material spill and then will support efforts during the response. The U.S Coast Guard assists the EPA in Area Contingency Plan development, geographic response strategies and exercise design.
The U.S. Coast Guard ensures recreational boats and passengers on navigable waterways are safe including the inspection of marine sanitation devices and other pollution prevention items. USCG personnel also ensure commercial vessels and crews on navigable waterways are safe through regular inspections and investigations of system failures and misconduct incidents. These activities ensure a resilient maritime transportation system on Lake Champlain.
Federal law authorizes the USCG Captain Of The Port the ability to safeguard vessels, waterfront facilities and the waterways from damage and specifically allows for the assistance from other agencies. The COTP is able to establish safety zones under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act. This authority is used in spill response incidents to maintain safe working conditions for cleanup operations.