The Coast Defense Study Group (CDSG) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the study of seacoast fortifications.

CDSG’s purpose is to promotes education about and preservation of seacoast defenses, primarily those of the United States. The study of coast defenses and fortifications include their history, architecture, technology, strategic and tactical employment and evolution.  Our key missions include the preservation of coast defense sites, equipment, and records, and conducting charitable activities that promote this preservation.

The primary goals of the CDSG are the following:

  • Educational study of coast defenses;
  • Technical research and documentation of coast defenses;
  • Preservation of coast defense sites, equipment, and records for current and future generations;
  • Accurate coast defense site interpretations;
  • Assistance to groups interested in the preservation and interpretation of coast defense sites;
  • Charitable activities which promote the goals of the CDSG.

CDSG education includes:

  • Encouraging research about seacoast defenses by amateur and professional historians.
  • Publishing the quarterly Coast Defense Journal and CDSG Newsletter.
  • Publishing reprints of basic references about US seacoast fortifications.
  • Making available scanned documentation about US seacoast fortifications, artillery, and equipment, mostly from original documents at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
  • Holding annual conferences, which include tours of fortifications and presentations on seacoast defenses.
  • Organizing special tours to more remote fortified locations.

CDSG preservation efforts include:

  • Maintaining a network of site representatives, who maintain contact with fortification owners or managers.
  • Providing advice and assistance to those owners and managers.
  • Providing comments and advice about proposed changes to US seacoast fortifications.  CDSG often becomes an interested party in Federal Section 106 reviews and similar state processes.
  • Offering grants from the CDSG Fund for the preservation and interpretation of US seacoast fortifications, ordnance, equipment, and documentation.

The Coast Defense Study Group promotes the study of coast defenses and fortifications in the United States through the following activities:

The CDSG publishes two periodicals, the Coast Defense Journal and the CDSG Newsletter. Original articles and source documents on aspects of worldwide military coastal or harbor defenses are published in the Journal; the Newsletter has organizational news and business, and items of a more timely nature. The CD Journal and the CDSG Newsletter rely on the submission of articles, reviews, site visit reports, notes, comments, letters, inquiries, etc. from CDSG members and other interested parties. The CDSG Press provides copies of back issues of the CDSG publications, harbor defense notes (which often contain a number of reproductions of important source documents and maps of the harbor defense area visited), and reproductions of important books and manuals.  We have also established the CDSG E-Press that gathers, scans, and provides electronic copies of key archival documents on American seacoast defenses.  The CDSG also hosts an annual conference at different US harbor locations with field trips visiting the remaining harbor defense structures in the area during the day, along with a series of evening presentations on coast artillery subjects.  Special tours are held to smaller locations and to overseas fortifications as well.  We have created the CDSG Fund to allow our members to make charitable gifts for the preservation of coast defense sites, equipment, and records for use by current and future generations.  The CDSG also is building a representative program to keep in regular contact with the owners of various sites that were once coast artillery locations. This program is designed to exchange information and resources between the CDSG and the site locations.  Finally, we seek to educate non-members about coast defenses through our own website at

Click here to see Group Pictures from past CDSG “St. Babs” (Short for Saint Barbara, the patron saint of artillerists) Conferences