MARAD Issues Cybersecurity Advisory.
In a new maritime security advisory (2023-009-Worldwide-Foreign Adversarial Technological, Physical, and Cyber Influence
), the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) addresses the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s (USCC) concerns over escalating technological, physical, and cyber threats in the maritime and logistics sectors. It specifically covers the risks to the industry posed by LOGINK, a Chinese government-backed logistics management platform, and Nuctech, a Chinese government-owned security equipment manufacturer. The USCC identified both companies as threats to U.S. port and terminal security. In addition, the Advisory includes best practices, guidelines, and recommendations to help maritime stakeholders understand data-sharing protocols, cyber infrastructure resiliency, and the importance of considering alternative software and systems to improve secure data transfer.
AWO Engagement in Maritime SCC Fosters Communication with Government Partners in Emergencies. Bill Hanson of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company and AWO Vice President – Regulatory Affairs Caitlyn Stewart have recently been elected the Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, of the Maritime Sector Coordinating Council (SCC), a forum for industry coordination and collaboration with federal agencies regarding critical infrastructure security and resilience activities. Most critically, the Maritime SCC serves as a strategic communications mechanism between industry and government during emerging threats or response and recovery operations, which can include cyber attacks and extreme weather events such as hurricanes. The Maritime SCC has established relationships with the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Transportation Security Administration in addition to the Coast Guard. AWO has been a member of the Maritime SCC since its inception in 2020. It is one of a network of SCCs covering 16 critical infrastructure sectors.
2024 Equipment Reports are Due Soon! Equipment reports
can be found on your Membership Dashboard
page. All carrier members should update their equipment lists by September 11
to ensure fair and accurate calculation of member dues for 2024. Please email Violet Daniels
with any questions about this process.
Deck Barge Working Group Kick-Off Meeting September 20.
Do you own or operate deck, spud or material barges or move project cargo or containers on barge? Are you interested in developing and sharing best practices to ensure safe, sustainable deck barge operations on the inland waterways and coasts? If so, please join us for a virtual meeting on September 20 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time to explore member interest in establishing a deck barge working group. Pat Stant, President of McDonough Marine, has volunteered to chair the working group, which is open to all AWO member deck barge owners. Please click here
to register. If you would like to participate but can’t make it on September 20, please email Bradley Trammell
and we’ll put you on the list for future meetings.
Register for September 21 AWO Mariner Workforce Forum.
Maritime training schools, including state maritime academies, are key partners in growing the current and future maritime workforce. In the next AWO Mariner Workforce Forum
on September 21, the team at Maine Maritime Academy will discuss how to harness partnerships with these schools to recruit new mariners and advance the skills of existing mariners. MMA runs a highly respected tug and barge program and offers a range of credential-track programs and professional development courses.
Register for Free Virtual Employing U.S. Vets Conference.
On October 12, VETS Indexes will host its ninth Employing U.S. Vets Conference
in a free, fully virtual format. These semiannual conferences offer attendees information to help establish and build their own veteran employment initiatives, featuring speakers from across private industry and the U.S. government. Video recordings
from the spring 2023 conference are also available, covering topics including recruiting and hiring, reading military resumes, and creating more veteran-inclusive workplaces.
AWO PAC Corner
AWO PAC and Inside Elections.
AWO has partnered with Inside Elections
for another special edition
, including insights on key governors’ races and analysis of Mississippi, Kentucky, and Louisiana races.
is the connected political action committee for The American Waterways Operators and serves as the trade association’s separate segregated fund. As a trade association, AWO is prohibited from using general treasury funds or membership dues to make federal contributions. AWO is one of the most effective advocacy associations in Washington, DC, and relies on voluntary personal contributions to fund AWO PAC.
AWO PAC supports federal candidates who are champions of the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry and who are leaders on issues important to our industry. AWO PAC is dedicated to protecting AWO members’ investments in the safest, most environmentally responsible and most economical mode of freight transportation and safeguarding the integrity of the Jones Act to protect the bottom lines of our members. AWO PAC may solicit contributions from individuals of a member company once the member representative gives AWO written prior approval.
AWO Increases Pressure on CA Lawmakers to Improve CARB CHC Rule.
With the California legislature quickly approaching critical deadlines, AWO President & CEO Jennifer Carpenter sent a letter
to Governor Gavin Newsom urging him to “avert serious risks to human life, the environment, the supply chain and the development of offshore wind energy” posed by the California Air Resources Board’s Commercial Harbor Craft rule. Jennifer’s letter drew the attention of gCaptain
and was also referenced in a recent Waterways Journal editorial
. Meanwhile, AWO has been working to educate key legislators and staff, encouraging them to take action before the legislative session ends September 14, after which the governor has 30 days to sign or veto any legislation.
Cherrie Felder Named Maritime Person of the Year by New Orleans Propeller Club. Congratulations to Cherrie Felder, Vice President of Channel Shipyard Companies and Chairman of Waterways Council, Inc., who was recently named 2023 Maritime Person of the Year by the Propeller Club Port of New Orleans. The Club will honor Ms. Felder during the 89th Annual Maritime Person of the Year Gala on October 25.
AWO Testifies Before Mississippi River Commission.
On August 17, AWO provided testimony to the Mississippi River Commission (MRC) on recommendations for optimizing safe navigation on the river. AWO’s recommendations
included: 1) implement the regional dredge pilot program as soon as possible; 2) ensure Corps of Engineers participation in a new Coast Guard-AWO Quality Action Team to develop best practices for permitting; 3) work with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to ensure stable water levels at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers; 4) work with the TVA to repair the Wilson Lock Guide Wall; 4) deny the CEMUS dock permit as an unreasonable obstruction to navigation; 5) implement measures for invasive carp control that do not impact navigation safety; and 6) consider alternative plans for the Delta Point Casting Field project. AWO concluded by thanking the Corps’ Northwestern Division for its increased commitment to navigation on the Missouri River.
RIETF Holds Meeting, Low Water Plan Endorsed. The River Industry Executive Task Force (RIETF) met on August 17, led by Co-Chairs Lynn Muench, AWO Senior Vice President – Regional Advocacy; BG Kimberly Peeples, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley Division Commander; and RDML David Barata, U.S. Coast Guard District 8 Commander. Attendees endorsed the Low Water Plan developed by a RIETF working group. Additionally, both BG Peeples and RDML Barata endorsed the RIETF Communication Memorandum of Understanding to ensure clear, timely, and transparent communication between the Corps, the Coast Guard, and the industry members of RIETF.
AWO, Coast Guard Update Hurricane Contact List.
AWO Atlantic Region members and the Coast Guard’s Altantic Area Sector Commands have worked together to update the Hurricane Contact List for 2023. The list was created by the Coast Guard-AWO Safety Partnership to facilitate port communication before, during, and after a hurricane or other emergency situation. Industry points of contact for each Sector have agreed to attend local hurricane planning meetings and engage with the local Coast Guard contact to coordinate a Marine Transportation System Recovery Unit (MSTRU) briefing at a local industry event as necessary. During port disruption events, local industry contacts have the lead on passing information on MSTRU conference calls to the AWO staff, when needed, who will distribute it broadly to industry.
To access the 2023 contact list, click here
AWO, Maine Maritime Academy to Hold October Workforce Forum. AWO is partnering with the Maine Maritime Academy for a forum on current and future towing industry workforce needs. The forum will be held at the Maine Maritime Academy Campus on October 18 from 9 am to 12 pm, and will be followed by a lunch meeting with representatives from Coast Guard District 1 and Sector Northern New England. The forum will give vessel operators the opportunity to learn about the degree programs and license tracks offered by the Academy, discuss company experiences with mariner shortfalls and unmet continuing education or training needs, discuss how MMA programs can prepare mariners for careers in the towing industry, and more.
After the meetings, attendees will be able to tour the campus and attend an evening cocktail reception. The Maine Maritime Academy’s Job Fair is happening the day after, on October 19 (separate registration required
NOAA Announces Right Whales Technology Workshop.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is convening a North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Risk Reduction Technology Workshop
to explore and promote new technologies to reduce the risk of vessel strikes. The workshop will be held February 13-15, 2024 in Washington, DC, with both virtual and in-person attendance options.
Lackluster Offshore Wind Lease Sale in Gulf of Mexico. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s first offshore wind lease sales for the Gulf of Mexico saw modest results, with only one of the three lease areas receiving bids. The two Galveston lease areas received no bids. The 100,000-acre Lake Charles lease area, which has the potential to generate up to 1.24 gigawatts of electricity, was sold after the third round of bidding for $5.6 million to a subsidiary of German energy company RWE. RWE will now begin the years-long process of developing and seeking approval for its construction and operations plan.
California VW Grant Application Opens.
California has opened applications for its VW Zero-Emissions Freight and Marine Grant Program
, with $20 million in available funds. Companies looking to transition to low- and zero-emissions technology are encouraged to apply. Examples of eligible projects include repowering tugboats and towboats and installing shore power systems for ocean-going vessels. There are no project funding caps and projects can stack funding with the Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project
(CORE) and other state programs that do not claim NOx emissions reductions. Funding is awarded on a rolling basis (first come, first served). For more information on the solicitation
, visit the California VW Trust website
. Peter Schrappen
, Vice President – Pacific Region, is also available to help members better understand this process.
Puget Sound’s Quiet Sound Program Reports Positive Results.
The Puget Sound Quiet Sound Program reports that during a trial period
from October 24, 2022 to January 12, 2023, 70% of large commercial vessel transits in Admiralty Inlet and north Puget Sound slowed down, leading to a 45% reduction in underwater noise.
The Quiet Sound program
was created to reduce the acoustic impacts of large commercial vessels on endangered Southern resident killer whales in Washington. Based on the results of the trial, Quiet Sound will lead a voluntary slowdown from October 1, 2023 to January 2024. Vehicle carriers, cruise ships and container vessels are asked to transit below 14.5 knots and bulkers and tankers are requested to go below 11 knots. More information is available online
AWO, Campbell Transportation Company Host Towboat Tour for Rep. Chris Deluzio. On August 31, Campbell Transportation Company, Inc. (CTC) hosted a towboat tour for Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-PA) and his staff onboard the m/v Connie K in Pittsburgh. The event provided a great opportunity for AWO to educate a freshman congressman and his staff on the importance of the Jones Act and the tugboat, towboat and barge industry’s impact on Pennsylvania and the U.S. economy. Big thanks to CTC for sponsoring the tour!
AWO, SCF Marine Hold Congressional Towboat Tour in St. Louis. On August 15, AWO and SCF Marine Inc. hosted a congressional towboat in St. Louis onboard the m/v Jennie K. Ten congressional staffers attended the tour, representing the offices of Senators Eric Schmitt (R-MO) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL); and Representatives Cori Bush (D-MO), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Sam Graves (R-MO), Jason Smith (R-MO), and Mike Bost (R-IL). Thank you to SCF Marine Inc. for sponsoring another successful tour!
AWO, ARTCO Host St. Louis Agri-Business Club Towboat Tour. During the St. Louis Agri-Business Club’s bi-annual AgMazing Tour, American River Transportation Co. (ARTCO) provided the vessel for a towboat tour attended by staff from Missouri, Illinois, Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Georgia legislative offices. The tour was an opportunity to educate the 16 participants about the criticality of the tugboat, towboat and barge industry to the nation’s economy, including the agriculture sector, as well as low water concerns and lock operations.
AWO, CPMR Participate in Congressional Staff Tour in Blencoe, IA. The Coalition to Protect the Missouri River (CPMR) and AWO participated in a congressional staff tour in Blencoe, Iowa at the NEW Coop. The tour highlighted why this new facility on the Missouri River is critical to agriculture, improving farmers’ profits on exports by as much as 70 cents per bushel, for the attending Congressional staff members from Nebraska and Iowa.
AWO Accepting Nominations for Tankering & Barge Operations Safety Award.
AWO’s Tankering & Barge Operations Subcommittee is now accepting nominations for its 2023-2024 Safety Award
. AWO encourages all industry stakeholders to nominate individuals, organizations, companies, or facilities that have improved equipment, personnel, and/or processes to enhance safety of those involved in cargo transfer operations. All nominations should include a description of the specific improvement made and details about how it enhances tankerman safety. Examples of improvement areas include, but are not limited to:
Vessel to shore communications
Flow rate controls
Fall overboard & slip/trip/fall prevention
Line clearing operations
Transfer equipment handling
Exceptional safety contributions
Help Support Team AWO in the SCI Mountain Challenge!
AWO is participating in the SCI Mountain Challenge again this year, a biannual fundraiser in which competitors race a course designed to replicate the endurance challenges that mariners routinely experience on the waterways. This event benefits the Seamen’s Church Institute
and its mission to serve mariners around the world. SCI provides services like advocacy, pastoral care, and training and education and their programs include the Center for Maritime Education, Center for Mariner Advocacy, Port Newark International Seafarers’ Center, and Ministry on the River.
President & CEO Jennifer Carpenter is sponsoring AWO’s team, the Waterways Warriors, and will take on the trails alongside AWO teammates Brian Vahey and Mark Wright. The Waterways Warriors are ready for the challenge and grateful for any encouragement and financial support for SCI. To support the AWO team, visit SCI’s fundraising page here
or scan your phone over the QR code below.
Register Today for the Board of Directors Meeting and Fall Convention in Philadelphia! The Board of Directors Meeting and Fall Convention are less than 5 weeks away! Register and join AWO peers and staff in Philadelphia, PA on October 10-11.