2023 National Stategy
The National Strategy on the Marine Transportation System (2023-2028) was initiated by an ad hoc interagency development team in January 2022. The 2023 National Strategy replaces the 2017 National Strategy and provides strategic guidance to the Federal interagency partnership to enhance the Federal understanding and support of the marine transportation system (MTS) under five priority areas. The Strategy went through interagency reviews, and was approved by the CMTS Coordinating Board before being signed by Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg on March 3, 2023. https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/66755
Job Posting for the US CMTS Executive Director
The US Department of Transporation has Published the Job Posting for the US CMTS Executive Director.
Apply here: https://www.usajobs.gov/job/708820100
The closing date is March 24, 2023.
Executive Director Helen Brohl Retires
HUGE congratulations are in order for our Executive Director Helen Brohl! Helen retired on January 13th after over 20 years in Federal Service. She was the first ever Executive Director for the CMTS and was appointed to that position in 2006 by then Secretary of Transportation Norma Mineta. Helen was our fearless leader for 17 years, trail blazing the CMTS through countless dynamic issues including Federal infrastructure financing and investment, system performance measures, navigation technology integration and coordination, and integration of marine transportation issues into the President's Ocean Policy and National Export Initiatives. She was honored with an outstanding retirement ceremony at US DOT Headquarters that included leadership and colleagues from MARAD, USACE, USCG, NOAA, GLSLSDC, BSEE, OST, CISA, TSA, ITA, Navy, EPA as well as international and industry friends. Thank you Helen for everything you have done for the CMTS, the MTS, DOT and all of federal service. We miss you already!
CMTS Mariner Mental Health Working Group Hosted a Virtual Discussion
The CMTS Mariner Mental Health Working Group hosted a virtual discussion, "Challenges and Solutions to Mariner Mental Health and Wellbeing" on Wednesday January 11th, 2023. This meeting discussed the challenges and real solutions to support the mental health and wellbeing of mariners. The program included one presentation and two panel discussions:Presentation: Behavioral Health is the Foundation of Mariner Health
- Emily Reiblein, Director of Health, Safety, Security, and Environment, Crowley Logistics
- Moderator: Matt Mueller, Workforce Development Officer, U.S. Maritime Administration
- Miriam Anthony, Chief Mate, Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots
- Carol Berry, Marine Personnel Manager, Ocean Ships Inc.
- Emily Bull, Mariner, Women Offshore
- Jason Zuidema, Executive Director, North American Maritime Ministry Association
- Moderator: Dr. Anthony Arita, Clinical Psychologist, Department of Homeland Security
- Christine MacMillan, Career Development Services and SAVE Program Coordinator, Women Offshore
- Thomas Martin, Chief of Vessel Operations, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Gregg Pelowski, Director, Military Sealift Command
- Peter Sutton, Vice President, HSSE & Operations Integrity, Crowley Shipping
The first panel discussed the conditions that can impact the wellbeing of US mariners. The second panel discussed how federal agencies, employers, unions, and mariners can take the steps necessary to help protect and support this essential workforce. A video recording and transcript of the virtual discussion can be found below:
For more information about the CMTS's Mariner Mental Health Working Group, please contact email@example.com
The CMTS has updated the directory of MTS-related Federal Advisory Committees
The CMTS has updated the directory of MTS-related Federal Advisory Committees. Advisory committees are a way of ensuring public and expert involvement and advice in Federal decision-making. In response to the growing number of advisory committees, Congress enacted the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) which established the guidelines under which all Federal advisory committees must operate. There are 36 committees that directly or indirectly impact the MTS. The list also includes advisory groups that are not official federal advisory committees but are included because of their association to the MTS. The directory provides the name, charge, designated federal officer(s), and a link to an available website.FACA Update
U.S. Coast Guard Delivers U.S. Waterway Harmonized Geospatial Dataset to Federal Agency Partners
The CMTS Maritime Resilience Integrated Action Team (RIAT) fosters interagency engagement to incorporate the concepts of resilience into the operation and management of the U.S. Marine Transportation System (MTS). The RIAT is co-led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Over the past few years, the RIAT focused on studying the response and resilience of the MTS after major hurricanes. On November 16, 2022, the RIAT held a hybrid (in person and virtual) meeting where 28 members across 12 agencies were in attendance. The team discussed the future release of a MTS Resilience Assessment Guide and how it might be used to conduct resilience assessments. The workshop allowed the RIAT members the opportunity to discuss possible gaps in resilience assessment and response, and ways to close those gaps. The workshop attendees also compiled a list of organizations they would like to bring to the table for future collaborations. For more information and publications of the RIAT, go to https://www.cmts.gov/topic-resilience/.
U.S. Coast Guard Delivers U.S. Waterway Harmonized Geospatial Dataset to Federal Agency Partners
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System's (CMTS) Future of Navigation Integrated Action Team (IAT), delivered a harmonized geospatial dataset of national waterways to Federal agency members of the CMTS. The new Harmonized Waterway":
- Revolutionizes the delivery of critical Marine Safety Information (MSI) to the mariner by deconflicting and synchronizing names and abbreviations for rivers, bays, and landmarks, which can differ between local, state, and Federal agencies;
- Improves interagency coordination for enhanced waterways management;
- Provides online access to navigational information for U.S. waters; and
- Provides a tool for waterways managers/planners, industry leaders, and researchers to study and monitor our national waterways with implications for marine transportation system (MTS) supply chain, resilience, and safety.
CMTS Mariner Mental health Working Group hears from Women Offshore
To better understand the stresses and needs of merchant mariners, the CMTS Working Group for Mariner Mental Health heard from members of the Women Offshore Foundation at the monthly meeting on October 5th, 2022. Ally Cedeno, Christine MacMillan, Cassi Laskowski, and Emily Bull shared their experiences at sea, the importance of company & ship culture, and the activities that had a positive impact on them at work.
DOD Leads CMTS Coordinating Board
MG William "Butch" Graham, Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, chaired his first CMTS Coordinating Board meeting on Wednesday, October 28, 2022. Held in person for the first time in two-and-a-half years and at DOT headquarters, 27 CMTS federal member agencies joined the Major General to consider the 2022-2023 CMTS work plan which was approved unanimously for priority areas related to interagency unity of effort, health and welfare of the MTS workforce, sustainable MTS, and safe and efficient supply chain. The Board also accepted the annual report submitted by Ms. Lucinda Lessley, Deputy Administrator of the Maritime Administration who previously chaired the Coordinating Board (CB).
Defense Secretary Austin appointed MG Graham as chair of the CB for a 12-month term beginning 1 August. The CB meets quarterly and provides the day-to-day policy and work plan guidance for the CMTS Executive Secretariat and interagency teams. www.CMTS.gov.
The U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) is pleased to report the publication of a short video called "Careers in Maritime."
The video, presented in both English and Spanish, was developed as a tool to educate students from an early age and well before a career path has been chosen about career options including as a mariner, dock worker, ship building, and culinary arts. The video was coordinated by the CMTS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Team and the Recruitment and Retention Task Team to support federal MTS-agency efforts to increase the diversity of the marine transportation system but also address a critical shortage of mariners with Federal employers such as military sealift command and the NOAA Corps, as well as to support the critical shortage of U.S. merchant mariners with in industry.
This is the first in a planned series of videos that will provide more detailed information. The next video will be about a career as an unlicensed mariner and is due to be published in September. Please direct inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CMTS Mariner Mental Health Working Group Hears from Dr. Jason Zuidema, North American Maritime Ministry Association
As part of an initiative to understand the stresses to merchant mariners, the CMTS Working Group for Mariner Mental Health heard from Dr. Jason Zuidema from the North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA). At the monthly Working Group meeting on September 7, 2022, Dr. Zuidema provided an overview of how NAMMA supports seafarers in ports and the important issue of social isolation experienced by mariners across the world.
Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III designates MG William "Butch" Graham to lead CMTS Coordinating Board
The CMTS is pleased to share that Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III designated MG William "Butch" Graham, Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the chair for the CMTS Coordinating Board for a 12-month term which began August 1, 2022. The Coordinating Board Chair provides leadership and guidance to the Executive Secretariat and 25+ agency members.
Major General Graham outlined the Board's priorities saying, "I am eager to serve as the leader of this team and to work cooperatively to help protect communities and the marine environment, strengthen supply chains, promote economic growth, build on the existing outstanding communication that exists within the Coordinating Board, and leverage innovative ways to address our most pressing challenges."
Under Major General Graham's leadership, the CMTS will build upon the Coordinating Board's work to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion; environmental justice; strengthen the MTS workforce; address MTS resilience, navigation, and offshore safety; and continue building upon the U.S. Arctic maritime transportation efforts."
2022 CMTS Federal Maritime Security Directory
The CMTS has published an August 2022 update of the directory of federal maritime security organizations in the Federal Government. This publication updates the directory from May 2021 and includes references to agency and interagency organizations in the Executive Office of the President; Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, State, and Transportation, as well as references to IMO and maritime security federal advisory committees.CMTS Federal Maritime Security Directory
The CMTS Working Group for Mariner Mental Health has updated the Mariner Mental Health Resources catalog for United States Mariners
The CMTS Working Group for Mariner Mental Health has updated the "COVID-19 Working Group's Mental Health Resources for U.S. Merchant Mariners and Critical Workforce in the MTS." The Mental Health Resources catalog provides US. Mariners with links to federal and non-federal information pertaining to mental health topics as well as help line phone numbers. Included in the catalog are information and resources on anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, stress, trauma, PTSD, drug and alcohol abuse, and various other mental health stresses. Lastly, recent peer-reviewed studies on mariner mental health have also been added. If you are aware of resources that could be added, or links to be updated, please contact the CMTS Mariner Mental Health Working Group at email@example.com.Mariner Mental Health Resource Catalog
CMTS and AAPA partner to host Infrastructure Week 2022 panel on MTS Infrastructure Investments
The CMTS partnered with the American Association of Port Authorities to co-host a panel of experts, titled Will Today's Infrastructure Investments Meet the Needs of Tomorrow, to highlight recent investments in the US MTS. Panelists discussed how recent generational investments in the MTS, such as those made in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, can enable the US MTS to be safe, efficient, and internationally competitive into the future. Opening remarks were provided by CMTS Coordinating Board Chair Lucinda Lessley, with a welcome by AAPA President and CEO Christopher Connor. The panel was moderated by CMTS Executive Director Ms. Helen Brohl. Panelists included:
Ms. Deborah DeLuca
Executive Director, Duluth Seaway Port Authority
Dr. Darren Timothy
Chief Economist, Office of Policy, USDOT
Dr. Matt Wartian
Business Development Manager, Burns & McDonnell
Dr. Joseph L. Schofer
Professor Emeritus, Northwestern University
A recording of the panel is available on the CMTS YouTube Channel at https://youtu.be/LzgFJpwWn3k.
Mental Health Awareness Month
May was Mental Health Awareness Month and the CMTS Mariner Mental Health Working Group (MMHWG) reminds mariners that one year ago, and prompted by the stressors related to working under COVID 19, the U.S. Coast Guard issued Marine Safety Information Bulletin 07-21 that spotlighted the mental health of mariners. The prolonged nature of the pandemic compounded existing stressors and created new stressors on maritime personnel, including feelings of isolation, and physical and mental fatigue caused by pandemic-related restrictions on crew changes, shore leave, and repatriation of seafarers. USCG sought to assure mariners that seeking mental health care will not jeopardize a mariner's medical certification. In fact, the National Maritime Center (NMC) routinely approves medical certification for individuals who have stable, well controlled mental health conditions. MSIB 07-21 may be found at MSIB 07-21. The MMHWG is updating the list of mental health resources developed under the pandemic [CMTS Catalog Covid-19 Mental Health] and implementing an outreach plan to support mariners and the MTS workforce. If you or someone you know is in emotional distress, contact, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline . Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential and toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
1-800-273-TALK (8255) TTY: 1-800-799-4889
Live Online Chat
May 17, 2022, 2 p.m. EDT, Webinar: Will Today's MTS Infrastructure Investments Meet the Needs of Tomorrow?
The CMTS is, once again, co-hosting a virtual panel discussion with the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) during National United for MTS Infrastructure Week
[https://unitedforinfrastructure.org/the-week/ ] to be held Tuesday, May 17, 2022, 2 - 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
The panel includes opening remarks by Ms. Lucinda Lessley, Chair of the CMTS Coordinating Board and Acting Administrator of the Maritime Administration and Mr. Chris Conner, President and CEO of AAPA.
Four expert panelists will present their views of current infrastructure investments and meeting future MTS requirements.
To access the webinar join ZoomGov Meeting:
Meeting ID: 160 974 7542 Passcode: 779980
Or call in to the webinar: +16692545252,,1609747542#,*779980# US (San Jose) +16468287666,1609747542#,*779980# US (New York)
CMTS Publishes Fifth Edition of the Federal Funding Handbook for MTS Infrastructure
The CMTS has released the Fifth Edition of the Federal Funding Handbook for Marine Transportation System Infrastructure. New for 2022, the Fifth Edition includes detailed information about 77 current and 22 prior federal funding opportunities related to MTS infrastructure. These federal funding programs and opportunities provide funds in the form of loans, loan guarantees, grants, and other types of financial support. Hundreds of millions of federal dollars are provided by these programs to support U.S. marine transportation system infrastructure. The full publication can be found at the National Transportation Library at the following link: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/61471.
CMTS Issued the U.S. Arctic Marine Transportation System Infrastructure Risk Resource Compendium
The U.S. Arctic Marine Transportation System Infrastructure Risk Resource Compendium is a list of literature related to the identification, analysis and mitigation of risks derived from marine transportation system (MTS) infrastructure gaps in the U.S. Arctic compiled to aid and inform federal investment priorities and decisions in the region for the safety and security of the Arctic MTS.
U.S. Arctic Marine Transportation System Infrastructure Risk Resource Compendium (bts.gov)
CMTS adopts environmental justice (EJ) policy statement
The following environmental justice (EJ) policy statement was adopted by the CMTS Coordinating Board at their March 23, 2022 meeting. The statement was adopted to align the EJ activities of the CMTS with the EJ work of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Subcommittee on Science and Technology (SOST). It states that the CMTS "commits to use the CMTS forum to recognize, educate, and share best practices amongst its members in support of implementation of environmental justice principals in the marine transportation system." https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/61467.
The CMTS issues Assessment of the Marine Transportation System
The Assessment of the U.S. Marine Transportation System: Report to Congress was a requirement in the CMTS 2012 authorizing legislation and replaces the multiagency report issued through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in 1999 titled, An Assessment of the U.S. Marine Transportation System. The 2022 Assessment reviews the MTS in two general ways: 1. Overall assessment in the areas of: Infrastructure; Safety; Security; Environmental Stewardship; and 2. Highlight on Focus Areas: Arctic Maritime Transportation; MTS Resilience; Energy; MTS Performance Measures; and Impacts from COVID-19 Pandemic. The report is available at the National Transportation Library at https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/61440.
International Hydrographic Organization's S-100 Universal Hydrographic Data Model
On March 23, 2022 the CMTS Coordinating Board accepted the amendment to the 2014 CMTS Resolution that stated the International Hydrographic Organization's S-100 Universal Hydrographic Data Model as its preferred data framework for the dissemination and exchange of digital marine safety information and related MTS data collection requirements. This amendment reiterates the CMTS support for S-100 and that the CMTS member agencies are committed to identify specific S-100 product specifications that are within their mandate, and to coordinate interagency efforts in the development of these product specifications. For further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgRead More
ALL CMTS DOCUMENTS TO BE PROVIDED VIA THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION LIBRARY
The CMTS is pleased to announce a collaboration with the DOT National Transportation Library (NTL) to hold all digital documents from the CMTS going forward. With the recent temporary unavailability of the CMTS website, we recognized the need for a more permanent location for CMTS publications. Working within the NTL Repository & Open Science Access Portal or ROSA-P, the CMTS is now included in the collections at https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/browse/collections, along with other transportation-related information such as the Bureau of Transportation Statistics Maritime and Ports collection and Transportation Climate Change Clearinghouse. The CMTS is also providing non-DOT agency maritime-related products that have been associated with or reference the CMTS. The also means that links to CMTS products on the CMTS website will be the NTL link - a link that will never change!
Report: Response and Resilience of the Marine Transportation System after Major Hurricanes
In December 2021, the CMTS Maritime Resilience Integrated Action Team issued the third report in a series about the response and resilience of the marine transportation system after major hurricanes. This report, An Examination of Multi-Hazard Marine Transportation System (MTS) Response and Recovery Operations during the 2020 Hurricane Season, assessed the impacts to ports from the 2020 hurricane season and the challenges to federal agencies to respond under pandemic. Three storms were examined in-depth, due to their impacts on the MTS: Hurricanes Laura, Sally, and Delta. The report may be found at https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/60699.
CMTS, Embassies of Denmark and Norway Webinar on UNESCO Decade of the Ocean and Sustainable Marine Transportation System
Event Details: Tuesday, December 2, 2021 0900-1100 ET
In support of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for sustainable Development, the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) partnered with the Embassy of Denmark and Norwegian Embassy to co-host a virtual public forum for meaningful discussion on applied science and technologies toward a sustainable marine transportation system (MTS) for healthier oceans. The event also featured a panel of international representatives engaged in applied science and technologies fostering a more sustainable MTS.Slides
U.S. Mariner Mental Health Needs During Covid-19 Survey Results Webinar - Slides & Report
Event Details: Wednesday, November 24, 2021
The CMTS COVID-19 Working Group (C-19 WG) hosted a webinar on November 22, 2021 to share results of the recent U.S. merchant mariner mental health survey. The webinar slide deck is available here. The survey report by Dr. Marissa Baker, Assistant Professor & Industrial Hygiene Program Director, University of Washington School of Public Health is available at http://deohs.washington.edu/mariner-mental-health.Read More
Offshore Wind Energy Development Public Industry Listening Session
Event Details: Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 11–12:30 EST
The CMTS Offshore Energy Facilitation Task Team is hosting a virtual industry Listening Session to directly hear from segments of the offshore wind industry regarding issues and impacts in mitigating munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) within our continental shelf wind lease areas and near project areas including easements.Read More
Ms. Lucinda Lessley Designated As Chair Of The CMTS Coordinating Board
USDOT Under Secretary Carlos Monje designates Ms. Lucinda Lessley, Acting Administrator, as Chair of the CMTS Coordinating Board.Read More Press Release
CMTS Dei Resolution Approved
At the CMTS Coordinating Board meeting held July 21, 2021, the Board approved a CMTS proclamation on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). This document sets a foundation for interagency engagement related to DEI within the CMTS member maritime agencies and in support of DEI within the marine transportation system. The Coordinating Board further approved the establishment of a "DEI Task Team" led by the CMTS Executive Secretariat which has begun developing a workplan to implement the directive which includes engagement with the Ship Operations Cooperative Program at their annual fall event in September 2021.Resolution