National Strategy for the MTS

  • The National Strategy was approved by the Cabinet-level Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) in July 2008 to recommend strategies and plans to maintain and improve the U.S. marine transportation system (MTS).
  • The National Strategy contains 34 recommended actions to improve the U.S. marine transportation system in five priority areas: capacity, safety and security, environmental stewardship, resilience and reliability, and finance and economics.
  • The National Strategy provides an overview of the MTS, its components and functions. It also describes the most pressing challenges facing U.S. marine transportation. These challenges include system capacity: channel depths, inland waterway maintenance, maritime data, and container transportation; safety and security; environmental impacts; disruptions; and finance and economics.
  • The MTS consists of ocean, coastal, and inland waterways, ports, intermodal connections, vessels, and commercial, military, and recreational users.
  • The MTS is a critical component to the Nation’s ability to trade with the rest of the world, with nearly 80 percent by weight of all U.S. international trade being carried by the MTS. The MTS supports military deployments from strategic seaports, a growing cruise line industry, tens of thousands of commercial fishing vessels, and millions of recreational boaters.
  • The National Strategy serves both as policy guidance and as an interagency framework for the CMTS to take action to improve the MTS.
  • The National Strategy is a “living document” to be coordinated with MTS stakeholders, and enhanced and updated, as the CMTS completes its assessment of the MTS or as other MTS studies become available.
  • The CMTS is engaging in an aggressive work plan – updated yearly - to define, assign, schedule, and execute the recommended actions of the National Strategy.
  • Many National Strategy actions are already being addressed by the CMTS. These include:
    — Inventory of Federal activities in the U.S. Arctic
    — Integration and coordination of Federal navigation technologies
    — Leveraging Federal research and development programs to more fully support the MTS
    — Development of a national strategy for eNavigation
    — Providing interagency expertise to facilitate DOT infrastructure projects of national significance
The CMTS is a Federal interagency coordinating committee directed by Congress and charter to improve the coordination of and make recommendations with regard to Federal policies that impact the MTS.