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National Strategy for the MTS

Cultivating a Resilient and Sustainable Blue Economy (2023-2028)

The United States marine transportation system will be a safe, secure, sustainable, and globally integrated network that, in harmony with the environment, ensures a free-flowing, seamless, and reliable movement of people and commerce along its waterways, sea lanes, and intermodal connections. CMTS Vision of the MTS, Approved by the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System - October 2017

The 2023-2028 National Strategy for the Marine Transportation System: Cultivating a Resilient and Sustainable Blue Economy (2023 National Strategy) was developed by the CMTS members through interagency engagement and multiple reviews before being signed by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on March 3rd, 2023.

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:

  • Strengthen Unity of Effort in the MTS: Comprehensively engaging member agencies and stakeholders to support and enhance the MTS.
  • Advance the Health, Welfare, Diversity, and Growth of the MTS Workforce: Advancing the recruitment, retention, diversification, health and wellbeing of the existing and future workforce to ensure support of current and future requirements of the MTS supply chain.
  • Enhance the Safety and Security of the MTS: Promoting a MTS free from vessel collisions, allisions, and groundings; personal injury and death; and damage to property and environment as congestion and vessel size within the MTS increase, supporting interagency initiatives for a more secure MTS.
  • Strive for a Sustainable MTS: Supporting the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem - also referred to as the "blue economy," including support for environmental justice and impacts to underrepresented communities.
  • Support Optimal Performance of the MTS Supply Chain: Measuring the reliability of operational elements of the MTS to inform and support strategies for targeted improvements as trade and supply chain competition increases.

Taking into account the recommendations from GAO to include performance metrics in the National Strategy, the five priority areas now include actions with accompanying measures of success to track and show progress toward achieving the objectives. There are 14 actions for CMTS interagency engagement in the 2017 National Strategy under the five priority areas, as outlined in Section 3.

This Strategy will be implemented across Federal agencies and within the CMTS partnership, as appropriate. The CMTS will assist in coordinating and tracking the actions and measures through the Executive Secretariat, Integrated Action Teams, Task Teams, or a mechanism to be developed as needed. The CMTS will also align its current and future annual work plans with the approved 2017 National Strategy. While the 2017 National Strategy is a living document that must also meet emerging issues, the CMTS will make progress on each action within the next five years, with the goal of completing most, if not all, of the actions within those five years, pursuant to agency engagement, resources, and Administration policy.

National Strategy for the Marine Transportation System: Cultivating a Resilient and Sustainable Blue Economy: 2023-2028 (bts.gov)