Coast Guard members throughout the honored the contributions of the American maritime community in celebration of National Maritime Day, May 22.
Since 1933, National Maritime Day has served to remind Americans of our nation's maritime heritage and the importance of maritime commerce. The Coast Guard has been facilitating maritime commerce since our inception as the Revenue Cutter Service in 1790 and recognizes the unique relationship between the service and industry.
"As a maritime nation, we rely upon our maritime transportation system and its professional mariners for the safety, security, and prosperity of all Americans," said Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. "The Coast Guard provides centuries of marine safety experience and expertise to the maritime community to help ensure our citizens remain safe, our ports are secure and our waters are protected."
To that end, the Coast Guard published its five-year Marine Safety Performance Plan. The plan includes initiatives designed to improve the service's marine safety program by adding more than 230 positions nationwide for marine inspectors and investigators and improving the process to credential mariners. The plan also has initiatives to improve towing vessel safety, develop standards for advanced boating education, pursue improved fishing vessel boarding processes and improve relationships with industry customers. The ultimate goal is to develop and sustain a program that is responsive to mariners and the maritime community while being the model of effectiveness and efficiency that other maritime nations seek to emulate.