The Maritime Administration has launched several new initiatives that place the agency in the vanguard of federal organizations implementing policies stressing responsible environmental stewardship.n announcing these initiatives, Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton said, “While environmental regulation and enforcement play a significant role, government--and the Maritime Administration in particular--must lead the way in promoting sound environmental stewardship within the maritime industry by implementing voluntary, effective, ‘green’ programs for its own operations.”
The Maritime Administration’s 2008 “Going Green” programs include an Environmental Excellence Initiative that focuses on strengthening environmental stewardship and developing and implementing green procedures, including establishing an Environmental Management System at the agency’s National Defense Reserve Fleet sites and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
A new Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy effort will evaluate current agency energy applications and implement an overhaul of energy-conservation practices. This includes the newly developed Green Travel policy, which outlines travel practices that lead to carbon reductions for employees on official travel, and the agency’s new Green Procurement Program, which will reduce the agency’s total carbon emissions.
Another element of the initiative is the Green Awards Program which will recognize exceptional environmental stewardship by industry members in areas such as carbon-emissions reductions.
Cooperative Research and Development will be continued in public/private sector partnerships to address energy efficiency, emissions reductions, and optimal freight-routing scenarios for marine transportation. For example, the new Maryland-based is currently conducting ballast water treatment technology research at the aboard a Maritime Administration-furnished ship.
The initiative will continue to focus on the University Student Green Ship Design Competition, an annual juried event for ultra-green ship design conducted in conjunction with the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. Winners of this year’s competition to design an ultra-green liquefied-natural- gas vessel will be announced in October 2008.
The agency is currently overhauling all of its energy applications and “Going Green” using solar panels, fuel cells, electrical upgrades, and geothermal power at all of its nationwide locations including fleet offices in Beaumont, Texas; Suisun Bay, Calif.; and James River, Va.; and at its Gateway offices in Houston, Miami, San Francisco, New York City, New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, Norfolk, Va., and Long Beach, Calif., and at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y.