NEW LONDON, Connecticut – The Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival announces U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ida Lewis will participate in this year’s annual celebration, Sept. 9-12, in New London. Ida Lewis, a 175-foot-long keeper class coastal buoy tender, is scheduled to arrive at Fort Trumbull, Sept. 9, and will be open for free, public tours on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The crew will also participate in Saturday’s Great New London Chowder Challenge. “The United States Coast Guard is excited to be partnered with the city of New London and the state of Connecticut to proudly showcase how the Coast Guard conducts numerous missions to keep our shores safe and waterways open,” said Capt. Edward J. Cubanski III, commander, Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound. Built in 1995, Ida Lewis is the Coast Guard’s first and oldest of the fourteen keeper class coastal buoy tenders. Home ported in Newport, Rhode Island, Ida Lewis was designed to support and execute a variety of missions including: law enforcement, aids to navigation, migrant interdiction, marine safety inspections, environmental protection and ice breaking duties. Ida Lewis is equipped with state-of-the-art electronics and navigations systems including Dynamic Positioning System (DPS) which allows Ida Lewis and the rest of her class of coastal buoy tenders to maneuver and position aids more accurately and efficiently with fewer crewmembers to keep our waterways safe. The festival is the wrap-up event in Connecticut’s Coast Guard Summer 2015, and will be co-chaired by Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman and Adm. Robert J. Papp, USCG (Ret.), 24th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard and now member of the Board of Directors of the National Coast Guard Museum Association. Festival highlights also include the arrival of and visits aboard the Oliver Hazard Perry (Rhode Island’s official tall ship), an elegant Captain’s Ball honoring University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst and six U.S. Coast Guard “Every Day Heroes,” a lighted boat parade, a schooner race, educational programs for schoolchildren, a juried maritime art show on the pier at Waterfront Park, whaleboat races on the Thames and the Great New London Chowder Challenge. There is no charge to visit the festival. A complete schedule of activities is available (and will be updated regularly) at www.CTMaritimeFest.com. About the Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival The Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival, a production of OpSail Connecticut, is a celebration of our state's maritime heritage, history and spirit of innovation. Working with community partners, our purpose is to draw attention to the important role the sea has played in the formation of our state and nation, and to honor the role schooners played in that development. The festival takes place Sept. 9-12 in the historic city of New London. More information on events and sponsorship opportunities may be found at www.CTMaritimeFest.com. About Connecticut’s Coast Guard Summer 2015 Governor Dannel Malloy has designated the summer of 2015 as Connecticut’s Coast Guard Summer, in celebration of the 225th anniversary of the founding of the United States Coast Guard, the Coast Guard Academy’s 100 years in New London, and the City of New London’s recognition as an official Coast Guard City. As part of Connecticut’s Coast Guard Summer, which will run through September, several major event organizers in New London will choose themes to commemorate USCG for its service to the region and nation.