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Remarks by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves at the Coast Guard Ketchikan Recertification Ceremony in Ketchikan, Alaska


Good afternoon, everyone! And congratulations, Ketchikan, on being re-certified as an official Coast Guard City!

Thank you, Senator Sullivan, and Mayors Sivertsen and Dial, for welcoming me to your beautiful state and city.

Before we start, I would like to use the opportunity to thank the Coast Guard and NOAA for all you do year-round, and especially now to protect our communities from the impact of extreme weather events.

Our thoughts now are with everyone in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, who are in Hurricane Ida’s path.

It is remarkable to see the collaboration between the Ketchikan community and the U.S. Coast Guard.

And it is an absolute honor for me to be here today representing the Department of Commerce in such an important celebration. 

On behalf of NOAA and Commerce, I would like to give a special thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard and its generosity in allowing NOAA to temporarily berth their ships on the Coast Guard base for the past 13 years.

It is thanks to your partnership that we are able to continue carrying out our mission in Alaska and across the region.

I had the wonderful opportunity to tour the base and boats yesterday, and it was a great way to learn more about the area and the crucial role it plays.

We also appreciate your support in planning NOAA’s Ketchikan Port Facility groundbreaking ceremony earlier today. It is not lost on us that this morning’s successful event was in large part thanks to the Coast Guard’s efforts.

At the Department of Commerce, we sit at the intersection of so many sectors, and the work NOAA does is critical to our success.

From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration, and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support our economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product.

NOAA’s dedicated scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech tools to provide key stakeholders and decision makers with the reliable information they need when they need it.

The partnership between NOAA and the Coast Guard dates centuries back and today, it is guided by promoting a safe and sustainable marine environment, enhancing regional collaboration, and fostering innovation in science, technology, and youth education.

The Coast Guard works with various parts of NOAA in these activities, including the Office of Response and Restoration, NOAA Fisheries, and the NOAA Corps.

And we remain committed to making sure we work with local governments and other government organizations, like the Coast Guard, so that we tap into the full productivity of all regions and workers across America.

Congratulations once again and I look forward to returning to Ketchikan in the near future.

With that, I’ll turn it over to our MC. Thank you!