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A New London Coast Guard Museum has been planned for decades. Connecticut's senators want it soon

Renderings of the future National Coast Guard Museum.
Courtesy Payette
Renderings of the future National Coast Guard Museum.

A National Coast Guard Museum in New London has been discussed for more than two decades, but it faced funding delays. Now, elected officials want the project to finally break ground.

The National Coast Guard Museum Association hopes to begin construction in 2022.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal confronted Admiral Karl Schultz this week during a Senate Committee hearing about his oversight as Commandant of Coast Guard. Commandant Shultz said they are committed to the $100 million project, if it gets more federal funding.

“Commandant Schultz, I just want to make sure that I know the answer to this question. I think I do,” Blumenthal said. “The Coast Guard Museum is a continuing priority and you'll work with us in seeking additional funds, correct?”

“Senator, I am absolutely committed to the establishment of a National Coast Guard Museum in New London,” Schultz replied.

The museum, led by the nonprofit, is already funded with $30 million in federal money, and $20 million more from the state.

“Our Connecticut delegation ... have been committed to working with their peers in Washington to secure additional authorities and resources in support of a premier National Museum in southeastern Connecticut,” said Wes Pulver, president of the National Coast Guard Museum Association.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy wrote in an opinion piece this week in The Day of New London that he’s working to get more funding included in next year’s federal budget.

He said the return on investment would create hundreds of jobs, pump over $20 million a year into the regional economy, and give long-overdue honor to Coast Guard service members.

“We still don't have a place to honor the service and sacrifice of Coast Guard veterans and inspire the next generation,” Murphy wrote, referring to the Coast Guard Academy’s nearly 90-year history in the city. “It's time to finally begin construction on the National Coast Guard Museum in New London.”

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.