I am pleased to report a significant amount of positive feedback from mariners when discussing new MARAD (Maritime Administration) initiatives. In addition to being on the forefront of new LNG programs they are aggressively pursuing new ways of providing job opportunities for U.S. Mariners and, the *word on the street* is they are even working with the IRS to protect our interests with regards to the Sailor Tax Deduction Debacle.
One of the programs that gets too little attention is the Marine Highway Initiative. What is the program nicknamed “American’s Marine Highway” all about. Maritime Administrator, Sean T. Connaughton tells us;
Our marine highways are a cost effective, yet under utilized, method for the movement of passengers, containers, and bulk cargoes that is especially fuel efficient, safe, and reliable.
Accelerated use of the waterborne transportation mode holds forth a special promise for tomorrow in; reducing traffic congestion, enhancing freight flow, expanding freight capacity, and providing a new pathway for hazardous materials.
Maybe it’s because MARAD touts advantageous like “new pathway for hazardous materials” over headline grabbing sound bites that key into popular culture (how about “America’s Green Highway – Moving Cargo While Reducing Greenhouse Gas”) but the program contains major benefits for industry, consumers and the environment.
Despite a long line of marketing errors they might finally be on the right track with the attractive logo seen below and a new video that makes you ask; Why haven’t we been doing this all along?