The Coast Guard announced yesterday it will merge its Group Baltimore, which handles search and rescue operations, and its Marine Safety Office, which performs ship inspections and responds to pollution and chemical spills, as part of a sweeping reorganization.
Baltimore's units will combine at Curtis Bay by mid-November into a single "Activity" that will centralize Coast Guard functions for a region, one of four such regional centers. The Marine Safety Office, now located at the Custom House in Baltimore, will move to Curtis Bay, where Group Baltimore is located.
A small office that issues merchant marine documents and licenses to merchant seamen will remain at the Custom House.
"We anticipate we will be functioning as one unit as early as Nov. 15," Commander Shelley said, with dedication scheduled for Dec. 9. "We're not wasting time here."