Friday, June 11, 2021

U.S. Marine Economy is a Big GDP Contributor, Report Shows

The marine economy is not just a fast-growing area for the United States, but a major contributor to the U.S. gross domestic product, accounting for about $397 billion to the GDP in 2019, according to results from the first official Marine Economy Satellite Account recently released by two Department of Commerce agencies.

“America’s strong marine economy is absolutely vital for building back better,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “President Biden sees the immense value and potential of strengthening America’s blue economy, and this administration will continue to take actions to combat the climate crisis, conserve our oceans and protect our coastal communities.”

NOAA and the Bureau of Economic Analysis experts pulled data from 2014-2019 in 10 sectors where businesses rely on the nation’s oceans, coasts and Great Lakes.

From 2018 to 2019, marine-related GDP rose 4.2%. That’s 2.2% faster than the total U.S. GDP with inflation, according to the agencies.

The businesses that were part of the report accounted for $665.7 billion in total sales and supported 2.4 million jobs in 2019. That includes tourism and recreation, including recreational fishing, which generated $235 billion in sales, offshore minerals with $93 billion, transportation and warehousing with $64 billion, and commercial Ship and boat building with $31 billion, according to the agencies.

“These statistics are further proof that our waters are vital for America’s economy,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “It is nearly impossible to go a single day without eating, wearing or using items that come from or through our ports and coastal communities.”

Port of Long Beach, Utah Inland Port Authority Sign Collaborative Agreement

The Port of Long Beach and the Utah Inland Port Authority will work together on ways to move goods in a cleaner, economical and efficient manner between the two ports under a new four-year collaborative agreement.

“This agreement is vital to the port’s strategic goals to diversify exports and create new partnerships that will help alleviate the unprecedented cargo surge we’ve experienced since last summer,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Our enhanced on-dock rail facilities will be crucial in delivering cargo to Utah while also strengthening the port’s competitiveness and reducing emissions.”

The agreement called for the two ports to partner on business opportunities and share knowledge that will be helpful on projects designed to improve import and export movement between the port authorities. They’ll also share information about clean strategies and technologies.

“This partnership is another critical connection as we work to streamline logistics for Utah and the Intermountain West,” said Jack Hedge, Executive Director of the Utah Inland Port Authority. “Working directly with the Port of Long Beach creates a synergy and stability that opens opportunities for Utah businesses to move goods more efficiently.”

Port of LA to Hold Virtual Public Meeting on SCIG Environ Report

During a special meeting set for June 15, the public will be able to offer input on the Port of Los Angeles’ revised draft environmental impact report on the Southern California International Gateway Project, an intermodal rail yard facility proposed by BNSF.

SCIG, which is being planned four miles away from the ports of L.A. and Long Beach, would allow the port to move more cargo by rail, as opposed to trucks that travel over 20 miles to BNSF’s rail yard in downtown Los Angeles.

The virtual meeting, planned 5 p.m. on June 15 via Zoom, includes a short presentation on the project and a three-minute limit for speakers. Click here for Zoom link. Those who want to listen in Spanish can call (877) 853-5257 or (888) 475-4499. Enter webinar ID: 951 1292 1684.

The public may also submit input and questions to In the email, include “SCIG Project” in the subject line and a valid mailing address. Questions may also be sent to Lisa Ochsner of the port’s Environmental Management Division at (310) 732-3412.

The last day to comment on the revised EIR draft is July 9. For more information is available at

USCG Cutter Alert Undergoes Change of Command

Cmdr. Matthew Kolodica is now the commanding officer of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alert and its crew following a change of command ceremony earlier this month.

Kolodica takes the 210-foot medium endurance cutter from Cmdr. Tyson Scofield, who will report to the Eisenhower School of National Security and Resource Strategy in Washington, D.C.

“It has been a privilege to lead the Alert crew over the last two years,” said Scofield. “Despite the challenges of the COVID pandemic, maintenance on a 52-year-old cutter, or the stormy conditions of the Pacific Northwest, this crew continuously rose to occasion to safely and successfully execute our missions.”

The change of command ceremony took place outside of the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon, where Alert is homeported. Presiding over the ceremony was Rear Admiral Peter Gautier, deputy commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area.

Cutter Alert, which was commissioned in 1969, has been part of a number of search and rescue and counter-drug missions, as well as law enforcement of marine-related legislation. Crew members regularly patrol the Maritime Boundary Line in the North Pacific between the U.S. and Russia and the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

AAPA Urges Congress to Pass Biden Infrastructure Plan

The American Association of Port Authorities is pushing Congress to make major and immediate investment in ports in President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan.

The federal funding is necessary to bolster and upgrade port infrastructure and could be the catalyst that spurs private financing, AAPA said.

“The consequences of decades-long under-investment in maritime infrastructure are playing out in real time in the form of supply chain disruptions and delays that have been exacerbated by the pandemic,” said AAPA President and CEO Chris Connor. “Current disruptions will diminish over time, but with global trade volumes forecasted to increase, now is the time for significant and sustained federal investment in a stronger and more resilient port infrastructure.”

Spending one dollar on maritime infrastructure brings back two to three dollars to the national economy in terms of jobs, growth and productivity, said Connor.

“Port funding yields a strong return on investment for American workers and will continue to help drive the nation’s recovery,” he said. “Congress must act now.”

Port of Seattle Approves Long Term Ground Lease

Part of the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 106 along East Marginal Way will become the site of a new 700,000-square-foot warehouse that will “support e-commerce, manufacturers and logistics providers that support maritime industries,” thanks to a newly approved ground lease between the port and Trammell Crow Company.

Under the long-term lease, the port’s old warehouse will be demolished and a new two-story light industrial facility will be developed.

"We are pleased to be working alongside the Port of Seattle on this important project, which will create a significant advantage for the port as it advances its logistics capabilities and ability to attract world-class industrial tenants to this market,” said Mark Netherland, a managing director with TCC Seattle. “The new building will provide state-of-the-art logistics capabilities and include features that current and future industrial tenants require for their space.”

The project, which is expected to be complete by 2024, is expected to bring about 140 construction jobs and support about 650 to 1,200 full-time employees, according to the port.

“Industrial lands are the backbone of our region’s economic resilience and full of untapped potential,” said Port Commissioner Peter Steinbrueck. “Putting a strategic property back into productive use creates immediate construction jobs and lasting economic development opportunities for nearby underrepresented communities.”

New Electric Vehicles, Fueling Stations Debut at Port of Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles is unveiling five new hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles and two hydrogen fueling stations as part of an $82.5 million “shore-to-store” project that brings together over a dozen public and private stakeholders to conduct demonstrations of zero-emissions equipment and vehicles.

That includes Class 8 trucks, five more hydrogen-powered heavy-duty trucks, a pair of battery-powered yard tractors and two battery-charged forklifts, according to the port.

“Transporting goods between our port and (inland) is the first leg of this next journey toward a zero-emissions future,” said port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “This project is a model for developing and commercializing the next generation of clean trucks and cargo-handling equipment for the region and beyond. Just as the air we breathe extends beyond the port’s footprint, so should the clean air and economic benefits we believe this project will yield.”

Toyota Motor North America designed and constructed the powertrain’s fuel cell electric power supply system, while Kenworth Truck Co. used Toyota’s fuel cell electric system to build the Class 8 trucks, and Shell Oil Products US created and will run the two new high-capacity hydrogen fueling stations in Wilmington and Ontario, according to port officials.

Kenworth built all 10 of the T680 FCEVs involved in the project, with the first five vehicles delivered to fleets in California for commercial service at the port, said Kenworth General Manager and PACCAR Vice President Kevin Baney.

“This significant fuel cell electric vehicle program at the Port of Los Angeles is a key element of Kenworth’s industry-leading efforts of ‘Driving to Zero Emissions’ in the U.S. and Canada,” he said.

Dockside Vessel Exams, Safety Classes Offered in Alaska

With the opening of this year’s Bristol Bay salmon season, the U.S. Coast Guard has been conducting courtesy dockside exams of commercial fishing vessels, while the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association is offering maritime safety education to fishermen in Western Alaska and Bristol Bay.

Examiners will look at any safety issues that examiners might see before mariners leave the dock and won’t issue fines or other penalties for any problems at the dock or before launch, according to the USCG. The exams will note flares, charts, navigational signals, fire extinguishers, emergency radio beacons and the serviceability of immersion suits, among other items.

Exams are being offered June 14-25 at Dillingham, Egegik and King Salmon. To schedule an exam in Dillingham, call (907) 764-5071 and for an appointment in Egegik, the number is (907) 538-8062. For an exam in King Salmon, call (907) 717-6270 or (907) 538-9748.

Fishermen can run a ring buoy up on the mast or on the anchor/bow to show they are ready for an exam.

"Coast Guard dockside examinations are free, ensure compliance with all federal regulations and can reduce the likelihood of getting boarded at sea if you pass and earn a decal," said Russ Hazlett, a fishing vessel safety examiner at Sector Anchorage. “But more importantly, an exam could save your life.”

Mariners should also consider signing up for one-day fishing vessel drill conductor classes on June 10-11 in Naknek and on June 12-13 in Dillingham. Visit or call (907) 747-3287 for more.

“If you want to provide your crew with a comprehensive, hands-on, maritime lifesaving education in a short amount of time, please register for one of these courses,” said Jerry Dzugan, executive director for AMSEA. “Setting aside just one day could mean the difference between a successful season and a loss of life at sea.”

For more on how to prepare for a vessel exam, visit

To make an appointment for a vessel exam at other locations, reach out to any of the following USCG marine safety offices.

  • Marine Safety Unit Valdez: (907) 835-7220
  • Marine Safety Detachment Dutch Harbor: (907) 581-3466
  • Marine Safety Detachment Kodiak: (907) 486-5918
  • Marine Safety Detachment Seward: (907) 224-4784
  • Marine Safety Detachment Homer: (907) 235-3292
  • Marine Safety Detachment Sitka: (907) 966-5454
  • Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan: (907) 225-4496