GRAND MARAIS — After nearly 100 years, the U.S. Coast Guard is closing its Grand Marais station, finalizing a plan it made public last year.
The station will be “consolidated” with the larger station in Duluth, the Coast Guard said in a news release Thursday. As the News Tribune reported last year, the Grand Marais station was only manned during the summer months by four people and a boat from its “parent unit” in Duluth and responded to less than a call per year.
It is one of two groupings of Coast Guard stations on the Great Lakes. The other, on Lake Michigan, will mean the closure of Holland, Michigan Station and its consolidation with Grand Haven, Michigan Station.
“We would not consolidate these stations if we believed it would increase the risk to boaters or the marine industry,” Lt. Paul Rhynard, Ninth Coast Guard District public affairs officer, said in the statement. “This decision was made after careful research and with public safety as our top priority. Modern boats and aircraft and strong partnerships with other search and rescue agencies allow us to eliminate redundancies and ensure the best use of limited resources.
The Grand Marais Coast Guard Station, called Station (Small) North Superior, was established in 1928 and has been seasonally staffed since 1988. It is on Artist Point, near the footbridge leading to the Grand Marais Lighthouse . According to the Coast Guard website, it is responsible for the area of the lake from Taconite Harbor to the border with Canada, including Isle Royale.