Not long after September 11, 2001, America's Waterway Watch (AWW), a public outreach program, that encourages participants to simply report suspicious activity to the Coast Guard and/or other law enforcement agencies was born. Today, America's Waterway Watch (AWW), a combined effort of the Coast Guard and its Reserve and Auxiliary components, continues to grow, enlisting the active participation of those who live, work or play around America's waterfront areas. Coast Guard Reserve personnel concentrate on connecting with businesses and government agencies, while Auxiliary Members of the Coast Guard focus on building AWW awareness among the recreational boating public and public stakeholders, such as marina's.
Why do we need America's Waterway Watch? America's coasts, rivers, bridges, dams, tunnels, ports, ships, military bases, and waterside industries may be the terrorists' next targets. Though waterway security is better than ever, with more than 95000 miles of shoreline, over 290,000 square miles of water, and approximately 70 million recreational boaters in the United States, the Coast Guard and local first responders cannot do the job alone.
America's Waterway Watch is similar to the Coast Watch program of World War II, which caused the early growth of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, who were mobilized as a uniformed, civilian component of the Coast Guard to scan the coast for U-boats and saboteurs attempting to infiltrate the shores of the United States. Today, America's Waterway Watch goes one step further: It calls on ordinary citizens who spend much of their on and around America's waterways - to assist in the War on Terrorism on the Domestic Front.
In addition to its public outreach efforts the Coast Guard Auxiliary has also increased it public presence and outreach efforts in major marina's and ports, such as in southern California and the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach (see photo below)
For more information about the America's Waterway Watch program visit http://www.americaswaterwaywatch.org/index.htm
If you are interested in assisting in a more formal capacity, either as a paid professional or trained volunteer, you should consider a civilian or military career with the United States Coast Guard (http://www.gocoastguard.com/jobs.html
) or joining the Coast Guard Auxiliary (http://www.cgaux.org/