(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) — The Coast Guard presented one of its most prestigious public service awards to a longtime Port Lavaca resident, Ray Butler, during a ceremony Tuesday at the Bauer Community Center.
Capt. Tony Hahn, commander of Sector Corpus Christi, presented the Distinguished Public Service Award to Butler for serving as co-chairman on the South Texas Area Maritime Security Committee since its founding in 2004, after implementation of the Maritime Transportation Security Act.
Under Butler’s leadership and guidance, he skillfully led the Area Maritime Security Committee in amassing an impressive list of accomplishments; he authored the South Texas Area Maritime Security Plan; drafted an underwater terrorism prevention plan; composed two marine security operations plans, and devised a maritime small vessel radiological/nuclear detection plan.
Additionally, as executive director of the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association (GICA) — a 200-member trade association dedicated to ensuring safe, economical and environmentally sound marine transportation — Butler was the objective and authoritative voice to Gulf Coast captain of the ports for inland waterway navigation. His commitment to the South Texas Area Maritime Security Committee contributed to several important border security initiatives including surveying the Lower Rio Grande Valley Flood Control System in Mission and Weslaco, Texas.
The Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award, aside from the Gold and Silver Life-Saving Medals, is the highest public recognition that the commandant of the Coast Guard may award.