After 50 years of service, Coast Guard Cutter Cowslip, the oldest in the Coast Guard fleet will be going out on the Columbia River to work its last buoy, Friday. The Cowslip maintains more than 160 buoys along the Oregon and Washington coasts, home to some of the U.S. coastline’s most hazardous sea conditions. The buoys help military ships, merchant ships, fishing boats, and recreational boats navigate safely. These buoys are especially important to the safe operation of a port and thereby directly affect the economic impact a port has on a local community. Cowslip is responsible for buoys located on the Columbia River, and along the coast from Coos Bay, Ore. to Grays Harbor, Wash.
The Cowslip decommissioning was rescheduled for Dec. 11, 2002, after increased Coast Guard efforts to heighten port security
in Oregon and Washington delayed the original decommissioning date of Sept. 27, 2001. Cowslip’s crew will begin the extensive decommissioning process in November and then conduct a ceremony for the ship in Astoria.