The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration today announced that America’s six state maritime academies – California Maritime Academy, Great Lakes Maritime Academy, Maine Maritime Academy, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, SUNY Maritime College and Texas Maritime Academy – and the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in Kings Point, N.Y., will each receive $1 million from a government program that recycles obsolete vessels. The funding will help ensure well-educated and highly skilled U.S. Merchant Marine officers are available to meet our nation’s national security and economic needs.
“The most important element in our U.S. Merchant Marine fleet is our people,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This funding will help ensure that dedicated men and women of our maritime academies continue to have the resources that make them the best educated and most highly trained mariners anywhere.”
The money for this round of funding came from the sale of obsolete vessels from the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve Fleet, which were purchased for recycling. As required by the National Maritime Heritage Act, 25 percent of the profit from sales is distributed to maritime academies for facility and training ship maintenance, repair, and modernization, and for the purchase of simulators and fuel; 25 percent is provided to the National Park Service, which provides grants for maritime heritage activities through the National Maritime Heritage Grants Program; and 50 percent funds the acquisition, maintenance and repair of vessels in the National Defense Reserve Fleet.
“The Maritime Administration continues to focus on the future of our maritime industry,” said Acting Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen. “We’re proud to support the education that prepares the next generation of maritime professionals for the challenges they will face.”
The nation’s maritime academies train young men and women for service in the American merchant marine, the U.S. Armed Forces, and the Nation’s intermodal transportation system. Since 2009, the Maritime Administration has provided more than $8.9 million in funding generated from vessel sales to the state academies and the United States Merchant Marine Academy.
The Maritime Administration promotes a strong U.S. commercial maritime industry through effective training and education of the men and women who will join its ranks upon graduation. The Agency supports maritime academies through direct funding and also provides scholarships though a student incentive payment program to a select number of state maritime academy students who commit to a post-graduation service obligation. The Maritime Administration also provides training vessels to all six state maritime academies for use in at-sea training and as shore side maritime skills and proficiency laboratories.