Washington Waves
Washington Waves

Ports Receive Nearly $40 Million In RAISE Grants

Washington,  D.C.—The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) welcomed nearly $40 million in federal funds the nation’s ports were awarded through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program.

“Investing in America’s seaports is critical because estimates show their long-term return on investment is significant, bringing in $2 or as much as $3 for every single dollar spent,” AAPA President and CEO Chris Connor said.

AAPA singled out the $5 million PortMiami received to complete portions of a critical master plan to continue its Net  Zero program and the $3 million received by the Puerto Rico Port Authority to fund a feasibility study and other preparatory initiatives released for the improvement of Avenue C, a critical roadway link and the only connection to the port’s eastern wharves.

The awards to ports were part of more than $2.2 billion in grants for 162 community-led infrastructure projects through the RAISE program.

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, called the RAISE awards “game-changing funding” for projects to improve safety, boost economic competitiveness, better connect communities and increase environmental sustainability.

Back To Business 

Both chambers of Congress are scheduled to end their two-week recesses the week of July 10.

Votes are scheduled for senators on Monday and members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

With both chambers currently scheduled to leave for their annual August break, attention is expected to be focused on fiscal year 2024 appropriations.

Leaders of both chambers’ appropriations committees have pledged to get all 12 spending bills through the entire appropriations process and signed into law.

That would allow federal agencies to avoid three unpopular consequences: continuing resolutions that keep current funding in place but without policy changes, a massive omnibus spending bill and across-the-board funding cuts included in the recent bipartisan debt limit/budget agreement as an incentive to finish the appropriations process.

So far, the House committee has advanced six of its bills,  including the measure that funds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works program. The Senate panel has advanced two.

Measures for the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Agriculture, Rural Development and the Food and Drug Administration are the two that have made it through both committees.

For the Senate panel, that was a noteworthy accomplishment. Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Vice Chair Susan Collins (R-Maine) said the mark-up of the two bills was the first their panel had held in two years.

“We are both committed to ensuring that the voice of the Senate is heard through the appropriations process,” stated Murray and Collins, the first two women to lead the committee as chair and co-chair.

Designated Examiner Requirements

The National Maritime Center (NMC) published a bulletin providing clarifications for meeting the regulatory requirements for certification as a Designated Examiner.

Those clarifications were implemented immediately, the NMC stated.

They can be found at https://www.dco.uscg.mil/national_maritime_center/.

For additional information or to share concerns or feedback, contact the NMC Customer Service Center by e-mailing IASKNMC@uscg.mil or calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).


President Joe Biden signed into law a bipartisan bill that supporters say will help address current shortages of licensed officers in the U.S. Merchant Marine.

Called the CADETS Act, S. 467 expands the age eligibility for the Maritime Administration’s Student Incentive Payment Program for cadets who attended one of the six state maritime academies and commit to post-graduate service.

“With the CADETS Act now law, more cadets like those serving at our Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Michigan will have the opportunity to receive a high-quality, affordable education,” said Sen. Gary Peters, (D-Mich.) a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a former lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Jerry Achenbach, superintendent of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, said the CADETS Act allows military veterans and non-traditional students to be eligible for compensation for agreeing to serve the United States as commissioned officers in the Navy’s Strategic Sealift Officer Program upon graduation.”

Jim Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers’ Association, agreed Peters’ bill will encourage more to join the U.S. maritime industry.

“Those men and women who delayed college to serve their country should not be denied opportunities given to younger, more recent high school graduates,” Weakley said.

Cadets can receive up to $32,000 in incentive funding over four years to offset tuition, uniforms, books and living costs in return for their commitment to serve.

GLS Board Meeting

The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS) published a correction in the July 5 Federal Register on the date and location of the advisory board’s third meeting.

Open to the public, the in-person meeting will begin at 3:30 p.m. CDT on July 26 in the Millennium Park Room at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk hotel, Chicago, Ill. 60611.

A July 21 deadline was set for requests to attend the meeting, accommodations to a disability, submission of written copy of remarks to be delivered at the meeting and written materials to be reviewed during the meeting.

For additional information, contact Kevin O’Malley at 202-366-0091 or Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, SuiteW62–300, Washington, DC 20590.