World Maritime Day, American Maritime Quilt

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On October 16th, the United States will host, along with the International Maritime Organization, the 2009 World Maritime Day Parallel Event.  This is the first and probably only time, that we will be the Parallel Country.  Because of its position at the IMO, our United States Coast Guard is the lead agency, with support from the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, MARAD and NOAA.

This event provides us with a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate to the world the strength and depth of the American-based maritime community.  The United States is the largest trading partner in the world, and therefore the largest global maritime participant.  For too long, we have not allowed our collective presence be visible.  Because of our size and diversity, we have not unified as a maritime community and showcased our many competencies.

The North American Marine Environment Protection Association is calling on the American-based maritime community to support this effort by participating in the American Maritime Quilt Project. 

With the World Maritime Day Parallel Event as the catalyst, maritime associations are asked to contribute $2500 for an “Anchor” square patch and reach out to their member companies for matching donations for their own square, which will be positioned around the Association’s “Anchor” patch. The goal is to build as large a quilt as possible, with the full complement of industry sectors and members of our maritime community as possible. 

The proceeds from the quilt will be used to support the World Maritime Day Parallel Event, and promote the strength of the American maritime community.  Some of the items we need to support are:

•    Ability to increase invitations to include a broader representation of the maritime community.
•    Underwriting to transport school children to view the exhibitions and tour the ships.
•    Provide the resources to extend the reach of the proceedings in New York to other national ports.

Four quilts will be created.  One will be presented to USCG Commandant Thad Allen and one for Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos of the IMO at the World Maritime Day Parallel Event on October 16th in New York City.  The third quilt will be presented to President Obama, and the fourth is intended for the Smithsonian Museum.  These will be presented next May during National Maritime Day proceedings.

Deadline for participation is September 15th. Contact Carleen Lyden-Kluss at executivedirector@namepa.net or (203) 255-4686.

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