Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) awarded nearly $39 million in grants to 12 marine highway projects across the Nation under the America’s Marine Highway Program (AMHP). The funding will help expand marine highway services on our nation’s navigable waterways to reduce congestion, alleviate supply chain bottlenecks, and move goods more quickly from ships to shelves.
“At a time of record demand for goods, it’s more important than ever to strengthen our supply chains so our manufacturers can grow and American families can get the things they need quickly and affordably,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Today’s announcement will help improve our marine highway system across the country, alleviating congestion, modernizing port operations, and ultimately lowering the cost of goods for American families.”
Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the AMHP received an additional $25 million in funding this year—the largest single investment in the program ever.
“America’s Marine Highway Program is an innovative program that encourages the use of America’s navigable waterways for the movement of freight and people, reducing congestion on land-based transportation,” said Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips. “The funding announced today advances our ongoing efforts to help new marine highway services begin operation and to improve existing services.”
Since its inception, the AMHP has designated 58 Marine Highway Projects bolstering jobs and local economies across the country. In this round of funding, 12 Marine Highway Grants (grants listed below) were awarded to not only strengthen supply chains, but also our national security by adding to the Nation’s strategic sealift resources and providing transportation alternatives during times of disaster or national emergency. The program works with public and private stakeholders to achieve these goals.
In addition, the AMHP meets the commitment of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which has made it a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. Nearly all the funding will go to projects in Historically Disadvantaged Communities or Federally designated community development zones. Preference was also given to projects that demonstrate a movement towards lower carbon emissions or near-zero emissions, that reduce air emissions and vehicle miles traveled, and projects that strengthen America’s supply chains.
All Marine Highway Grants award recipients must apply, comply with, and implement all requirements of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law “Buy America, Build America” provisions. Grant funds can be used to purchase low-emission U.S.-manufactured equipment, such as container reach stackers and cranes, as long as all iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials are produced in the United States. In addition, funds can be used to purchase intermodal equipment—such as U.S.-manufactured container chassis—that can alleviate supply chain bottlenecks.
Reference: U.S Department of Transportation Maritime Administartion