Marine Safety Unit (MSU) Chicago responsible for executing the Coast Guard's Port Safety and Security, Marine Environmental Protection, and Commercial Vessel Safety missions under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security. These missions serve as the underpinnings of our stewardship to ensure a safe, secure, and environmentally sound maritime domain that continues to promote recreation and the free flow of commerce on southern Lake Michigan, as well as the Chicago area waterway system and the Illinois River watershed.
MSU Chicago serves an active network of domestic and international maritime interests covering the Lake Michigan shorelines of Illinois and Indiana, as well as 186 miles of the Illinois River system segmented by seven locks and over 250 bridges. The MSU Chicago area of responsibility includes a fleet of 166 vessels and 118 regulated waterfront facilities.
As the third largest intermodal container handler in the world and the largest distribution center in the nation with a population of 9.73 million, Chicago is a crossroads of commerce nationally, as well as a regional attraction for recreation on the water. The unit's 19 active duty, 20 reserve, and four civilian personnel perform a variety of tasks each day, ranging from inspecting commercial vessels, conducting pollution and marine casualty investigations, enforcing safety zones, and conducting waterfront facility exams for compliance with federal regulations. In the past year, unit members have dedicated their time to numerous port security and harbor patrols, conducting 2,820 vessel inspections, processing 220 investigations, and overseeing regulatory compliance at 118 facilities.
MSU Chicago is located in the southwest suburbs of Chicago in Willowbrook, IL, 40 minutes from downtown Chicago.
Unit Fact Sheet