Homer applies to become a designated Coast Guard City
The City of Homer has applied to become a designated Coast Guard City — a recognition shared by just five other communities in Alaska.
The designation is mostly symbolic, and is extended to cities that take extra steps to make Coast Guard families feel welcome.
Christine Drais, assistant to the city manager for the City of Homer, submitted the application Tuesday. She said the idea came from the Homer City Council’s spring visioning session, which set goals for the year.
“And becoming a Coast Guard City was an important part of those goals, because [the city council] wanted to commemorate and acknowledge the important relationship that the city, as a community, has with the United States Coast Guard,” Drais said.
The Coast Guard has had a presence in Homer since 1969, just five years after the city was incorporated. Homer is now homeport to three units: Coast Guard Cutter Hickory, Law Enforcement Cutter Naushon and the seven-person Marine Safety Detachment unit.
The 40-page application Drais submitted this week includes letters of support and examples of how the community has reached out to Coast Guardsmen and welcomed them in.
“It was fun to uncover all the different ways that the community has come together to show their support of the Coast Guard, and vice versa — where the Coast Guard has supported community efforts — because that's part of their mission, wherever they are, to support the community,” she said.
Homer would join Alaska’s five other Coast Guard Cities, including Kodiak, Sitka, Ketchikan, Cordova and Valdez, according to Drais.
“It does show the world and the community that we are a welcoming community to the Coast Guard and their families, and embrace them,” she said. “And we want to make Homer a better place for Coast Guards and their families to live and serve.”
The application process is expected to take at least 30 days. Drais said she hopes to hear back from the Coast Guard in the new year.
The certification is for a five year period. If Homer is awarded this status, the city will have to renew in 2028.