Washington Waves
Washington Waves

NMERPAC To Look At Mariner Shortage

Washington, D.C.—An ongoing mariner shortage and other workforce issues are expected to be the focus of a September 7 meeting in Dania Beach, Fla., that is being promoted by the Merchant Mariner Credentialing Program.

That session is part of a series of meetings previously announced by the National Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (NMERPAC).

“A robust Merchant Marine is vital to national security, and NMERPAC welcomes input from all facets of the industry on measures to help address the shortage,” stated Mayte Medina, chief of the Office of Merchant Mariner Credentialing.

During the session on September 7, Medina said, the full committee will discuss the mariner shortage and other workforce issues.

Anyone who is not part of the NMERPAC e-mail list and would like to attend this meeting is encouraged to contact Megan Johns Henry at megan.c.johns@uscg.mil.

NMERPAC scheduled its meetings September 7-9 at the STAR Center, 2 West Dixie Highway, Dania Beach, Fla. 33004.

NMERPAC makes recommendations to the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security through the commandant of the Coast Guard on matters relating to personnel in the U.S. Merchant Marine, including the training, qualifications, certification, documentation and fitness of mariners.

Great Lakes Pilotage Rates

The Coast Guard proposed a new base pilotage rates for the Great Lakes 2023 Great Lakes shipping season, resulting in an estimated 14 percent increase in the operating costs compared to the 2022 season.

The Coast Guard also announced that public comments on the Great Lakes pilotage ratemaking methodology are being accepted in accordance with the requirement to conduct a full ratemaking every five years.

“We are also accepting suggestions for changes to the staffing model, for consideration in a future ratemaking,” the Coast Guard stated in the August 30 Federal Register.

Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard by September 29 and may be submitted via www.regulations.gov with docket number USCG– 2022–0370.

For additional information, contact Brian Rogers at 202-372-1535 or Brian.Rogers@uscg.mil.

DHS Grant Program Allocations

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced final allocations for $550 million for seven Fiscal Year 2022 competitive preparedness grant programs.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) these allocations, together with the nearly $1.5 billion in non-competitive grant funding announced earlier this year, total more than $2 billion in FY 2022 to help prepare the nation against man-made threats and natural disasters.

DHS said the allocation for the Port Security Grant Program provides $100 million to help protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness, improve port-wide maritime security risk management and maintain or re-establish maritime security mitigation protocols that support port recovery and resiliency capabilities.

Others included in the announcement:

Operation Stonegarden, $90 million, to enhance security along the U.S. land and water borders; and Transit Security Grant Program, $93 million, to protect critical surface transportation from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.

Coastal Engineering Research

The Board on Coastal Engineering Research (BCER) is scheduled to meet September 14 in Anchorage, Alaska, to identify coastal research needs associated with coastal communities in cold regions, including issues of climate change, social equity and environmental justice.

Open to the public, the meeting is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Alaskan Standard Time (AST) at Fireweed Business Center, 725 E. Fireweed Lane, Anchorage, Alaska 99503.

On September 15, the board is scheduled to meet in executive session at 8:30 a.m. at the same location.

For additional information, contact Dr. Julie Dean Rosati at 202-761-1850 or Julie.D.Rosati@usace.army.mil.