The American Salvage Association
(ASA) awarded its Rapid Response Award on October 9, 2007 to the United States Congressman Elijah E. Cummings
(D-MD), Chairman of the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee.
The award was presented to Congressman Cummings in Arlington, Virginia during the National Maritime Salvage Conference for the “substantial contribution that he has made to the United States Coast Guard
and the maritime industry through his chairmanship of the [Subcommittee].” The award also recognized Congressman Cummings’ “leadership, bold initiative and unwavering commitment …that have made the Coast Guard and the maritime industry stronger, safer and more environmentally sound today and for many years to come.”
“It is truly an honor to serve as the Chairman of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, and I am equally honored to receive this award,” Congressman Cummings said. “I will continue my work to ensure that the Coast Guard and maritime industry have the systems and resources in place to fully thrive and flourish.”
As Chairman of the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, Congressman Cummings oversees the implementation of the Coast Guard’s $8 billion fiscal year 2007 budget, including the more than $1.1 billion appropriated to fund the rehabilitation and modernization of the Coast Guard’s fleet through the Deepwater procurement program.
Congressman Cummings has made it a priority to ensure that the Coast Guard can balance its critical homeland security missions with its other crucial missions, including interdicting drugs before they reach America’s shores and conducting search and rescue missions.
In his role as Subcommittee Chairman, Congressman Cummings has held hearings related to a broad range of issues of concern to the Coast Guard and the maritime industry, including the Coast Guard administrative law system, Coast Guard FY 2008 budget, the Coast Guard’s marine safety program, cruise ship safety, the Deepwater program, fishing vessel safety, proposed on-shore LNG terminal placements, the roll-out of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, and short-sea shipping. He has also addressed the issue of aquatic non-indigenous species (ANS) and the need for ballast water management and treatment regulations.
Additionally, Congressman Cummings has resurrected the Baltimore Maritime Academy and set it on a course to become the model for the rest of the nation's port school systems to follow.
“We are delighted to have this opportunity to recognize Congressman Cummings’ many accomplishments on behalf of the Coast Guard and the maritime industry. His willingness to address issues, meet with stakeholders, deal with problems and work toward solutions has been remarkable,” said ASA President George Wittich, who presented the award.