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Capital Report


June 2016 Issue

Head of American Waterways Operators
Testifies on Behalf of US-Flag Ships

In testimony before the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Tom Allegretti, president and CEO of The American Waterways Operators, praised the subcommittee’s strong leadership in supporting the Jones Act, while urging it not to allow the law to be weakened by legislation arising from other committees, such as a bill under development in the Natural Resources Committee to provide economic relief for Puerto Rico.

The Jones Act supports a stable, high-performing and highly competitive domestic maritime industry. More than 40,000 American-built vessels move vital cargo on the nation’s inland rivers and along the coasts. The industry generates $100 billion in annual economic output. Allegretti said the Jones Act is vital to U.S. homeland security.

He also urged the committee to support a uniform national standard for ballast water and other vessel discharges to end a patchwork of federal and state regulations that he said is counterproductive to enhanced environmental protection, confusing and costly for vessel owners and inefficient for state and federal agencies. He called on Congress to pass H.R. 980, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act.

Allegretti also requested the subcommittee exercise oversight of the implementation of the forthcoming towing vessel inspection rule so that it achieves its goals of improved safety and causes no disruption to the delivery of critical cargo.

MARAD Awards Grants
To Nine Small Shipyards

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) awarded $4.9 million in grants to support capital improvements at nine small shipyards located throughout the U.S. Provided through the Small Shipyard Grant Program, the funding supports industrial modernizations that increase productivity, allowing small shipyards to compete more effectively in the global marketplace. The grants, which were primarily available to U.S. shipyards with less than 600 production employees, will fund a variety of projects, including infrastructure improvements and equipment upgrades to increase operational competitiveness and quality vessel construction.

Moratorium on Oil, Gas Activities
In Canadian Georges Bank

The sustainability and health of one of North America’s most valuable marine ecosystems will be better protected thanks to ongoing collaboration between the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia, which have enacted a statutory moratorium on oil and gas activities in the Canadian portion of Georges Bank until 2022, with possible further extensions.

Georges Bank, a large submarine bank at the edge of the Atlantic Continental Shelf between Cape Cod and Nova Scotia, provides habitat for a wide range of marine fish, mammals and corals. As one of the world’s most productive fishing grounds, Georges Bank also supports important commercial fisheries.

Fishackathon Spawns
Sustainable Fishing Tools

At the 2015 Our Ocean conference in Chile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that humans are connected to the ocean emotionally, physically and economically. One way the U.S. State Department is working to protect the ocean is through its annual Fishackathon. The event, which happened Earth Day weekend, brings together technologists and coders to create tools to address challenges in sustainable fishing around the world. Teams of volunteer coders and technologists consider problem statements from fisheries experts around the world and present usable solutions. Solutions developed during the history of the event include an app that displays fishing species, laws and regulations based on detected location; an app to help consumers find and eat sustainable seafood; and a reporting tool for marine mammal protection.

Ocean Advocacy Leader
Patten White Passes

Patten White, an original member of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative (JOCI) Leadership Council, has passed. He was a strong voice and an advocate for fishermen on the Pew Oceans Commission as it developed recommendations for national ocean policy, and he was executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association for many years. He was also a recipient of the Captain David H. Hart Award from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

White will be remembered for his dedication to the fishing community and ocean and coastal issues. He was a friend and mentor to many.

Contracts for Software Design
For Canadian Arctic Ships

Fleetway and Irving Shipbuilding announced a $15 million contract to Halifax, Canada-based company Bluedrop Training & Simulation for the design of the training and simulation software for the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) vessels under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.

The AOPS vessels, currently under construction at the Halifax Shipyard, are the first ships to be built under the combat vessels package of the shipbuilding contract.

Second Round of Funding for
Technologist in Residence Program

The second round of funding for the Energy Department’s Technologist in Residence (TIR) program has been announced. The program aims to strengthen lab-industry relationships to support industry needs and leverage the national lab network for strategic, long-term, collaborative R&D. Up to $2.3 million will support the Energy Department’s national laboratories in teaming up with manufacturing companies to tackle technical challenges of interest to the participating company or consortium. “Technologist pairs” work together up to two years and comprise one senior technical staff member from a national lab and another from a manufacturing company or consortium of companies. Each technologist pair identifies the technical challenges of interest to the participating company or consortium and the resources and capabilities within the lab that may address them. The pair then proposes a collaborative R&D project to address the identified challenges.


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