Gulf Coast Shipyard was a commercial and military shipyard that produced a range of ocean-going and inland marine vessels. This shipyard was created in 1902, and the area's strategic position along the Gulf of Mexico has made it a vessel destination for more than 300 years. Large amounts of asbestos passed through shipyards like Gulf Coast Shipyard before and after World War II, going into new ships and out of refurbished and decommissioned vessels. When minute asbestos fibers are discharged into the air, it is often regarded as a major health risk. Once inhaled, the fibers get trapped in the lungs or other bodily tissues, where they linger for years, causing serious diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, bronchial cancer, and mesothelioma.