Friday, January 31, 2014

MARAD Gives $7 Million to Maritime Academies

By Mark Edward Nero

The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) on Jan. 29 revealed that America’s six state maritime academies and the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, will each receive $1 million from a government program that recycles obsolete vessels.

Grant recipients include the California Maritime Academy, Great Lakes Maritime Academy, Maine Maritime Academy, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, SUNY Maritime College and Texas Maritime Academy.

In a statement, MARAD said the funding is expected to help ensure US Merchant Marine officers “are available to meet our nation’s national security and economic needs.”

“The most important element in our US Merchant Marine fleet is our people,” US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “This funding will help ensure that dedicated men and women of our maritime academies continue to have the resources that make them the best educated and most highly trained mariners anywhere.”

The money for the funding came from the sale of obsolete vessels from the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve Fleet, which were purchased for recycling. Federal law requires that 25 percent of the profit from sales is distributed to maritime academies for facility and training ship maintenance, repair, and modernization, and for the purchase of simulators and fuel.

Fifty percent funds the acquisition, maintenance, and repair of vessels in the National Defense Reserve Fleet; and the other 25 percent is provided to the National Park Service, which provides grants for maritime heritage activities through the National Maritime Heritage Grants Program.

Since 2009, MARAD has provided almost $9 million in funding generated from vessel sales to the state academies and the US Merchant Marine Academy.