Today we would like to wish a Happy 226th Birthday to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), with special congratulations to USCG Station Muskegon, our next door neighbors at the Lake Michigan Field Station (LMFS).
The original U.S. Life Saving Service station was built in 1879 on the north side of the Grand River, with headquarters located about 45 miles southward down the shoreline in Grand Haven. Twenty years later—running the risk of being washed away—the original structure was rebuilt on land that was acquired on the south side of the harbor (between Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan) where a new station was built between 1904 to 1907. It is this location at which NOAA assumed ownership of the building from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1990 and where GLERL’s Lake Michigan Field Station stands to this day, as a home for GLERL’s research scientist and staff. The U.S Coast Guard has since built a new facility right next door.
The GLERL field station’s site now includes three buildings, with research vessel dockage next to the main building. Its proximity to Lake Michigan provides support for long-term observations, field work, and experiments that are essential for understanding ecological issues in the Great Lakes and coastal areas.
We have a strong partnership with the Coast Guard that goes well beyond the comfort of knowing they are close by if we ever run into trouble with one of our research vessels. Our models and observing systems inform Coast Guard search and rescue missions, we provide scientific and logistical support for Great Lakes spill drills, and we also share resources for engaging with the community.
For more on the history of Lake Michigan Coast Guard stations (and some really cool photos) check out the July 25 M-Live article.
And last, but certainly not least, check out this awesome vintage video clip, originally produced by the Ford Motor Company in 1915, entitled: “Heroes of the Coast Guard,” which features a ton of great footage from the early 1900’s.
#DidYouNOAA: GLERL’s Lake Michigan Field Station is the oldest building owned by NOAA?!