By Mark Edward Nero
The US Maritime Administration on April 25 announced the availability of $5 million in federal funding to expand marine highway service by creating new or expanding existing services along designated Marine Highway routes.
The primary role of the funding, according to MARAD, is to create grants for projects related to documented vessels and port and landside infrastructure.
“MARAD invites applications for projects that have the added benefit of mitigating the negative impact of freight movement on communities,” the announcement reads in part. “Projects should also provide additional public benefit by addressing access to training and job opportunities, where applicable and appropriate.”
Eligible applicants must be sponsors of Marine Highway Projects formally designated by the Secretary of Transportation.
A Marine Highway Project is defined by MARAD as a planned service, or expansion of an existing service, on a designated Marine Highway Route, that provides new modal choices to shippers of cargo, reduces transportation costs, and provides public benefits including reduced air emissions, reduced road maintenance costs and improved safety and resiliency.
Grant applications must be submitted electronically using www.grants.gov. Applicants must complete the grants.gov registration process before submitting an application; the registration process usually takes two to four weeks to complete, according to MARAD.
Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Fri., May 27. Additional information can be found in the Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/04/25/2016-09563/funding-opportunity-for-americas-marine-highways-projects.