OF THE various details to which a United States naval officer may be assigned, several are unique. One of these is supervisor of New York Harbor. This office is unique in several particulars. It is no wonder that but few people understand what its functions are. The title is so comprehensive that one might imagine its powers to be considerably more extensive than they actually are. Let it be said at once that the supervisor has nothing to do with catching rum-runners, nothing to do with assigning anchorages, and nothing to do with customs or quarantine. And yet the supervisor’s office has a function that is of real importance, more than justifying the $180,000 a year that it costs the U. S. government to maintain it and the service which it directs.
That New York has a great harbor, forming the busiest port in the world, can hardly be unknown to the public. But the various activities required to maintain that large and important harbor are not so well known. Perhaps it may not be without interest to tell of the particular phase of that work with which the supervisor of the harbor concerns himself.