The Philadelphia Coast Guard station is responsible for monitoring maritime activity in the Delaware River and its tributaries including the Schuylkill River, as well as a portion of Delaware Bay. The station conducts multiple daily patrols of the maritime critical infrastructure and key assets.
The current site of the Coast Guard on the Delaware River waterfront has a rich history as the nation's first navy yard and as an important immigration port in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The frigate 'Philadelphia' was constructed in the Navy Yard in 1800 and served in the West Indies before running aground in North Africa under the command of Captain William Bainbridge. Captain Stephen Decatur later burned the ship in a daring mission during the 1803 war with Tripoli. The site served as a navy yard until 1879 when it came under the ownership of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which operated several passenger lines feeding into the Washington Avenue Immigration Station, located on an adjacent site. Thousands of immigrants passed through this station until its closure in 1915.