U.S. Coast Guard environmental protection

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Marine environmental protection is one of the eleven missions of the United States Coast Guard (USCG).[1]

There are five areas of emphasis in the marine environmental protection (MEP) mission. These areas cover virtually every aspect of oil and chemical response, and provide the goals and objectives for Coast Guard initiatives.

The five areas are:

  • Prevention
    • To stop pollution before it occurs, with:
      • Training
      • Equipment
      • Procedures
  • Enforcement
    • To provide civil and criminal penalties for illegal acts
  • Surveillance
    • To protect the marine environment by conducting:
      • Pollution overflights
      • Vessel boardings
      • Harbor patrols
      • Transfer monitoring
      • Facility inspections
  • Response
    • Cleanup and impact limitation of an oil or chemical discharge
  • In-house abatement
    • Ensure that Coast Guard vessels and facilities comply with federal pollution laws and regulations


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