The Delaware Coastline is the home to a major port, refineries, and chemical plants. It’s also the gateway to the Philadelphia region. Now the state Department of Homeland security feels it’s in better shape to protect the region.
Two new patrol boats were unveiled at a ceremony in Delaware City. They were purchased as part of $1.6 million federal Port Security Grant. Each boat cost $375,000.
“This is a big deal,” said Governor Jack Markell. He said people don’t realize how much of a coastline there is in the state. “It’s amazing, frankly, that it’s taken the state this long to get this together,” he said. Delaware has over 100 miles of coastline through the Delaware Bay and Delaware River.
The vessels are outfitted with the latest in marine technology. It has radar, GPS, infrared imaging, side scanning sonar, and state of the art radios. “These two vessels will be important assets in the protection of (the region),” said Senator Chris Coons.
The Delaware State Marine unit is staffed with three troopers. There will also be a maritime intelligence analyst. It’ll operate under the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. “With an overall length of 22 feet, the boat has a shallow drift that enables our enforcement agents to patrol areas where larger vessels will be unable to maneuver.