USCGC ELM (WLB 204)
"The Bar Tender"
Homeported in Astoria, Oregon in 2019, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ELM is District Thirteen's only sea-going buoy tender.
USCGC ELM's primary mission is to service and maintain 131 aids to navigation along the Pacific coasts of Oregon and Washington, as well as in the Columbia River. The buoys she maintains are essential to commercial vessel traffic in major shipping ports such as Coos Bay, Newport, Astoria, Portland, Longview, and Seattle via the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Her area of responsibility extends from the Oregon/California border north to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and east in the Columbia River to Longview, Washington.
When needed, USCGC ELM deploys jointly with members of the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to deploy and service weather buoys in the treacherous waters of the Pacific Northwest. Coastal weather buoys are critical for accurate weather forecasting, and greatly benefit both the commercial shipping and fishing industries along the Northwest coast.
Like all Coast Guard cutters, USCGC ELM does more than just one mission. She spends approximately one month per year engaged in fisheries law enforcement off the coasts of Washington and Oregon. She is also outfitted with a Spilled Oil Recovery System and can be deployed for environmental clean-up in the event of a major oil spill protecting marine wildlife and fisheries.