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Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 11:52am

Obama's Budget Restores Coast Guard Unit

President Barack Obama's budget restores funding to an elite Coast Guard unit.

The 85-member Maritime and Safety Security Team is based in St. Marys.

The team is responsible for high-level specialized security and is part of the nation's anti-terrorism response.

Coast Guard officials wanted to cut the unit and four-others in part to have more money to buy new ships.

The idea didn't go over well in Congress and the administration partially restored the teams' funding.

Sheila McNeill of the non-profit Camden Partnership, says the lobbying effort involved dozens of Congressional offices.

"Part of our success is because we joined in on others," McNeill says. "It really was a nationwide effort because we felt that this was right for the country. I think that is what made the real difference."

McNeill says, the team has an $8 million impact in the area.

Maritime and Safety Security Teams were also up for cuts in San Fransisco, New Orleans, New York and Anchorage.

Only the one in Anchorage was cut.