CMTS Issues Quick Reference Directory of Federal Maritime Security Organizations

Posted On: June 2, 2021

On October 6th 2020 the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System’s (CMTS) Resilience Integrated Action Team (RIAT) presented a Transportation Research Board (TRB) webinar titled A Resilient Path Forward for the Marine Transportation System (

Recognizing that there is benefit to understanding the breadth and scope of Federal maritime security organizations, of which most are interagency, the CMTS developed a quick reference directory. The directory is organized by Department under which the organization is managed, the name of the group or organization, the directive associated with that organization, and website link if available. There are twenty-one different groups, including those with IMO and Federal-related advisory groups with non-federal members such as the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee under USCG. Contact:

CMTS Directory

Updated MTS Fact Sheet Available

Posted On: Februrary 1, 2021

The CMTS has updated the MTS Fact Sheet for 2021. The update includes refreshed statistics about the MTS from the United States Coast Guard and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The Fact Sheet has also been updated to highlight emerging topics of interest in the MTS such as the National Maritime Cybersecurity Plan. The Fact Sheet is designed to be shared widely, so please use it to support your outreach about the MTS!

For more info about the MTS, go to:

Fact Sheet

POSTPONED: MTS Day on the Hill: “Federal Partners in Maritime Transportation”

Posted On: February 5, 2020

Save the Date

Webinar: Development of Spatial Data Infrastructures for Marine Data Management

Posted On: October 3, 2019

Spatial data infrastructure (SDI) is the foundational governance, technical, informational, and geographic context within which spatial data exists. A marine SDI (MSDI) “is the component of an SDI that encompasses marine and coastal geographic and business information in its widest sense and would typically include information on seabed bathymetry, geology, infrastructure, administrative and legal boundaries, areas of conservation and marine habitats and oceanography."

Beginning in July 2018, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), on behalf of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and executed by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) commenced a Concept Development Study (CDS) on MSDI. The goal of this study was to demonstrate to stakeholders the diversity, richness and value of a Marine SDI - specifically data, analysis, interoperability and associated IT services - including web services - in addressing needs of the marine domain. This webinar will present the background and progression of the study, and highlight results from the engineering report.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 | 2:00-3:00 PM ET

Presentation By Sebastian Carisio Lead Technical Cartographic Analyst, NGA Maritime Safety Office Vice-Chair, IHO MSDIWG Co-Chair, OGC Marine DWG

Webinar or in Person: U.S. Department of Transportation, Room W24-101 (USDOT Headquarters, 1200 New Jersey AVE SE, Washington, DC) RSVP: If you plan to attend in person, please RSVP by Thursday, October 24 to Jaya.Ghosh@cmts.govto be added to the building’s security list.

CMTS Maritime Data Webinar: Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure Flyer

Now Available: "A Summary of the Fifth Biennial Marine Transportation System Research and Development Conference"

Posted On: April 3, 2019

The U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) is pleased to announce the release of its summary of the fifth biennial marine transportation system research and development conference, Transforming the Marine Transportation System Through Multimodal Freight Analytics.This report summarizes the findings and recommendations from the June 2018 conference, held at the National Academy of Sciences in partnership with the Transportation Research Board. Over this three-day forum, 107 experts from government, industry, and academia shared and explored ideas about multimodal freight data and analytics that could potentially transform the ways to assess and observe the marine transportation system (MTS). This report summarizes key take-home lessons of the program’s three keynote addresses, three plenaries, ten breakout sessions, and closing summary session, and provides recommendations for the CMTS and its partner agencies.

This report is a product of the CMTS's Maritime Innovative Science and Technology Integrated Action Team (MIST IAT). The MIST IAT serves the CMTS and its partner agencies as a venue to identify, coordinate, develop, and implement innovative science and technology solutions to improving the MTS. As part of this effort, the MIST IAT has organized five biennial MTS R&D conferences in partnership with the National Academies of Sciences' Transportation Research Board.

For more information about this report, please contact Emily Russ at

Now Available: Enhancing the Usability and Accessibility of AIS Data

Posted On: March 3, 2019

The CMTS is pleased to share the newly released report on Enhancing the Accessibility and Usability of Automatic Identification System (AIS) Data: Across the Federal Government and for the Benefit of Public Stakeholders.

The ability to identify vessels and their intentions is essential for safe navigation, national security, situational awareness, and efficient movement of goods. AIS is a means to exchange and collect information about vessels, including their position and other navigation information. Many Federal agencies have found the use of this data extremely valuable in support of their missions. Developed by the CMTS Maritime Data Integrated Action Team's AIS Task Team, this report highlights the value of AIS information, summarizes current Federal capacity and applications of AIS information, breaks down the challenges of current AIS accessibility and usability, and proposes near-term recommendations to address some of the identified challenges.

The accessibility and usability of AIS information will help enhance coordination for greater efficiencies in the marine transportation system and supports the current direction of data governance, including Executive Order 13840, Ocean Policy to Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States, and its efforts to publicly release maritime data; and the White House Cross Agency Priority Goal for Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset; the Geospatial Data Act of 2018; and the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (2019).

For additional information or a briefing on the contents of this work please contact Brian Tetreault at or Jaya Ghosh at

Now Available: Revisiting Near-Term Recommendations to Prioritize Infrastructure Needs in the U.S. Arctic

Posted On: December 5, 2018

We are pleased to release the Arctic Marine Transportation Integrated Action Team (IAT)'s update to their 2016 report, A Ten-Year Prioritization of Infrastructure Needs in the U.S. Arctic. This new report, Revisiting Near-Term Recommendations to Prioritize Infrastructure Needs in the U.S. Arctic, reviews the twenty-five near-term recommendations to enhance the Arctic marine transportation system (MTS) included in the 2016 report. At the time of the original report, these recommendations were considered well suited for near-term planning and near-term implementation, such as specific infrastructure needs that were previously identified as mission critical for safe navigation in Arctic waters or that would require immediate investment and action. Recommendations included in this report span five key categories integral to the Arctic MTS, including: (1) navigable waterways, (2) physical infrastructure, (3) information infrastructure, (4) emergency response, and (5) vessel operations. The updates included in this report demonstrate the tremendous strides made across the federal government to support a growing Arctic MTS, but also highlight remaining critical gaps, such as in weather forecasting and shore-side infrastructure. The Arctic Marine Transportation IAT intends to revisit the recommendations outlined in the 2016 report periodically, as more information becomes available.

As part of this undertaking, the Arctic Marine Transportation IAT also updated the 'Current Status of MTS Infrastructure in the Arctic' Table, which was first created as part of the U.S. Arctic Marine Transportation System: Overview and Priorities for Action, 2013 and was revised as part of the 2016 report. This table enables a quick look at current conditions of MTS infrastructure in the U.S. Understanding the status of Arctic MTS infrastructure is a critical step to supporting, enhancing, and ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. Arctic MTS.

The Federal Government's Commitment to Hiring Veterans

Posted On: November 2, 2018

This Veteran's Day, and every day, we honor the many brave women and men who serve or have served in our U.S. uniformed services. But as we pause to honor those in our armed forces, we are also reminded of how we can continue to support those who have risked their lives to protect our great nation!

As we look to the jobs of tomorrow in the domestic maritime industry, hiring of U.S. veterans is critical. Veterans have the skills and experience from the sea services that translate directly into qualifications needed in the U.S. Merchant Marine and maritime sector – a win-win for both maritime businesses and our Veterans.

In 2014, the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) formed the Military to Mariner Task Force to help coordinate Federal efforts to facilitate the transition from military service to civilian employment in the U.S. Merchant Marine and other positions within the Marine Transportation System. In the four years since its inception, significant progress has been made by the Federal partnership to more easily guide departing service members into positions within the commercial maritime industry.

The following are some of CMTS's member resources that can help a Veteran, or an employer wishing to hire Veterans, succeed in this industry:

Getting a Merchant Mariner Credential is a multi-step process, and the U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) strives to provide mariners with the resources needed to successfully meet their requirements and receive a credential. NMC even has a convenient Live Chat, where mariners can securely connect with the NMC staff members with questions. One of the most robust resources is the Navy Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (Navy COOL), a step by step resource mapping skills, training, and credentials needed to meet certain mariner qualifications, and even where GI benefits can be used to meet those requirements! Similarly, the Department of Labor's My Next Move and O*Net provide crosswalks and ability to identify employment opportunities fitting a Veteran's experience and interests. There are a growing number of resources for companies wishing to hire and retain Veterans. The Department of Labor launched recently the HIRE Vets Medallion Program to recognize the many companies that successfully support Veterans in their employ. Veterans can also use the program to identify good companies to work for. The above only scratches the surface of the ways CMTS member agencies support veterans and service members transitioning into civilian careers. If you're a Veteran, active service member, or a maritime company looking to hire Veterans, learn more on our website at Military to Mariner.

The CMTS is committed to your success before, during, and after your time in the uniformed services and is honored to work with the American Maritime Partnership to make this a reality.

Thank you to our Veterans for your bravery, sacrifice, and service for our Nation.

This piece originally appeared at continues to be a valuable resource for mariners looking to find jobs in the U.S. maritime industry. Join the CMTS' conversation on Veteran's Hiring on Facebook from November 11-16.

Now Available: CMTS Maritime Transportation Extreme Weather Task Force: A Report to Congress

Posted On: April 2, 2018

Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao transmitted the completed “Maritime Transportation Extreme Weather Task Force: A Report to Congress” to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in April 2018.

This report fulfills an action under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2017, which directed the Secretary of Transportation to establish “a task force to analyze the impact of extreme weather events, such as in the maritime environment.” This directive was forwarded to the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) to study the issue and prepare a report. The CMTS established the Maritime Transportation Extreme Weather Task Force to address the above action.

When mariners are at sea, their safety depends on knowledge of the weather and being able to prepare for, and avoid where possible, storms with heavy and extreme weather conditions. Timely and accurate weather forecasts and observations are just as essential at sea as on land but the ability to collect, analyze, share and receive timely weather information at sea is much more challenging.

The report contains eight recommendations and two identified opportunities for improving industry response and policies regarding extreme weather events and preventing marine casualties from extreme weather events. To understand available maritime weather prediction, monitoring, and routing technology resources, this report also outlines the international framework for maritime weather prediction and monitoring, and the United States’ commitment and contribution to this international framework.

Please forward any questions or comments regarding the report to

Now Available: National Strategy for the Marine Transportation System: Channeling the Maritime Advantage

Posted On: October 1, 2017

The U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) is pleased to issue the National Strategy for the Marine Transportation System: Channeling the Maritime Advantage. This Strategy was signed by Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao on October 17, 2017, to provide strategic guidance to the Federal interagency partnership under five priority areas: Optimizing System Performance, Enhancing Maritime Safety, Supporting Maritime Security, Advancing Energy Innovation and Development, and Facilitating Infrastructure Investment. The 2017 National Strategy replaces the 2008 National Strategy and highlights 14 actions to enhance the Federal understanding and support of the marine transportation system. For more information, contact

Now Available: Third Edition of the Federal Funding Handbook for Marine Transportation System Infrastructure

Posted On: August 1, 2017

This updated and enhanced Handbook includes 80+ authorized Federal multimodal transportation infrastructure funding, financing, and technical assistance programs for infrastructure projects in the MTS. Please forward any questions or comments regarding the report to the CMTS at or (202) 366-3612.

Maritime Infrastructure Needs of the Nation

Posted On: August 1, 2017

On May 16, 2017, the CMTS hosted "TED-like" talks on Infrastructure, Safety, and Innovation to discuss physical and technological infrastructure related to the Marine Transportation System (MTS). This event was held in conjunction with National Infrastructure Week 2017—a national week of events, media coverage, and education and advocacy efforts to elevate infrastructure as a critical issue impacting all Americans. A recording of the event can be viewed below:


Announcing the Launch of the Maritime Topic on

Posted On: December 5, 2016

Maritime data include worldwide historical hurricane tracks from 1848 through the previous hurricane season. Information like this can help support the safe and secure use of the marine transportation system. The Maritime Data IAT began its effort to establish the Maritime Topic in early 2015. Since then CMTS member agencies have worked together to develop an inventory of publicly available maritime datasets with the ultimate goal of cataloguing these datasets under a Maritime Topic on Going forward, the Maritime Data IAT hopes to expand the inventory to include additional datasets and intends to use the Maritime Topic to communicate notable developments within the maritime data community. The Maritime Topic can be accessed at

Actions and Accomplishments of the CMTS: July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016

Posted On: October 2, 2016

One of the highlights of this year was celebrating the 10th anniversary of the CMTS by hosting a CMTS 10th Anniversary Leadership Roundtable. In addition, the CMTS completed the second of three reports in support of the National Strategy for the Arctic Region, "A Ten-Year Prioritization of Infrastructure Needs in the U.S. Arctic," and the MTS Performance Measures website was launched. The CMTS continues to make great strides, and we look forward to the accomplishments made by the CMTS in the next 10 years. You can access the 2015-2016 Annual Report here.

Actions & Accomplishments of the CMTS: July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Posted On: December 5, 2017

We are pleased to provide the CMTS Annual Report for July 2014 through June 2015. Under the Coordinating Board leadership of Major General John Peabody, Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations for the US Army Corps of Engineers, the CMTS completed the first of three reports in support of the National Strategy for the Arctic Region, "10-Year Projection of Maritime Activity in the U.S. Arctic"; and it established two new interagency teams—the Maritime Data Integrated Action Team and the MTS Resilience Integrated Action Team. The CMTS continues to make great strides to support an active interagency partnership to support the MTS.

The Cotton Club Public-Private Partnership Roundtable Proceedings Published

Posted On: October 5, 2015

In May 2015, several representatives of the CMTS Coordinating Board met with the DC-based Cotton Club to share lessons learned and best practices for implementing public-private partnerships for infrastructure, particularly for MTS-related investments. The Cotton Club is a chartered organization comprised of the transportation and trade attachés from the embassies in Washington, DC, particularly from Western Europe and Asia. For additional information, contact Ms. Pat Mutschler at

The Cotton Club Public-Private Partnership Roundtable Proceedings

Updated Federal Funding Handbook for Marine Transportation System Infrastructure

Posted On: October 1, 2015

The handbook is a compilation of the more than 85 Federal programs that provide grants, loans, loan guarantees, or direct funding for infrastructure investments related to the MTS and the intermodal connections. The programs are sponsored by 11 Federal Departments and Independent Agencies, including the Departments of Transportation, Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Homeland Security, Defense, Interior, and Labor, as well as the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency. For each program, the handbook provides a summary of the purpose, program specifics, and criteria for implementation as well as points of contact for additional information. The Handbook updates the 2013 edition, adding 30 additional programs, and it is one of the most-used resources of the CMTS. The CMTS is a federal interdepartmental policy coordinating committee, established by Charter in 2005 and authorized in 2012 to promote Federal interagency collaboration and coordination in support of the MTS.

Federal Funding Handbook for Marine Transportation System Infrastructure

U.S. Coast Guard "Future of Navigation/21st Century Waterways—Listening Session Feedback" Survey

Posted On: July 4, 2014

All comments are welcome. Use one of the following URLs:

- Introduction page:
- Direct survey link:
- Navigation Center homepage:

CMTS Authorized by Congress

Posted On: December 4, 2012

Section 310 of the Guard and Maritime Transportation Act amends title 46, United States Code, by adding §55502, United States Committee on the Marine Transportation System. The stated purpose of the Committee is to serve as a Federal interagency coordinating committee to (1) assess the adequacy of the marine transportation system; (2) promote the integration of the marine transportation system with other modes of transportation and other uses of the marine environment; and (3) coordinate and make recommendations with regard to Federal policies that impact the marine transportation system.

The Act also confirms the existing CMTS membership of agencies; allows for these agencies to transfer facilities, equipment, services and personnel, funds, and other support services to carry out CMTS activities; permits the CMTS to consult with MTS-related advisory committees, interested parties, and the public; and directs the Committee, not more than one year after the date of enactment and every five years thereafter, to report on steps taken to implement actions recommended in the National Strategy for the Marine Transportation System: A Framework for Action and provide an assessment of the condition of the marine transportation system.