MARAD Delivers FY-2010 Budget Estimate to Congress

Agency asks for approximately $345.5 million for the fiscal year.

Overview of the budget request:
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The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has a three-pronged mission. MARAD programs advance: (1) economic growth and recovery by providing job-producing businesses with efficient transportation options to reach their suppliers and customers, (2) marine transportation that is sensitive to environmental impacts on communities, and (3) a vital, viable, safe, and secure U.S. merchant marine for commerce, emergency response, and national security. Maritime transportation contributes more than $10 billion per year to the economy. MARAD’s work with ships and shipping, shipbuilding, port operations, and vessel operations supports the maritime industry, which is a significant employer. MARAD’s Title XI and Assistance to Small Shipyards programs provide grants supporting the industry, which can be an engine for capacity and economic growth. As waterborne transport provides a cost-effective transportation alternative, it can also help impact congestion in other transportation modes, reduce the cost of goods consumers use every day, and contribute to improving quality of life. The MARAD FY 2010 program includes a Presidential initiative for integrated planning with the Department of Homeland Security to inform development and modernization of intermodal freight infrastructure linking coastal and inland ports to highway and rail networks. The maritime transportation industry is making important changes in its environmental stewardship, with increasing emphasis on sustainability. MARAD programs will support the disposal of obsolete ships from the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) and management of the inactive Nuclear Ship SAVANNAH. MARAD programs will also work toward the reduction of port and vessel air pollution, further critical multi-modal transportation research to reduce environmental pollution and negative impacts, implement initiatives to reduce agency carbon footprint, and advance ballast water treatment technologies and develop scientific strategies for technology evaluation and verification. MARAD’s programs help ensure the readiness of sealift capacity to respond to national crises and Department of Defense mobilizations. The Maritime Security Program and Ready Reserve Force sustain fleets to meet national security and federal emergency response requirements. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and State Maritime Academies educate and graduate merchant marine officers ready to serve the maritime industry and Armed Forces. In times of conflict, merchant mariners have crewed ships supporting U.S. troops. MARAD is requesting appropriated funding of $345.5 million for the economic, environmental, and security mission. The 186 page document, which includes descriptions of appropriated program priorities for FY 2010 can be accessed and download by clicking HERE.