Proceedings Of The Marine

SUM 2015

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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Page 23 of 70

21 Summer 2015 Proceedings Today, skilled mariners operate more than 5,000 towing ves- sels and 27,000 dry and liquid cargo barges safely and eff- ciently in U.S. domestic commerce. 1 These unsung heroes keep the nation's economy moving — but ensuring that the U.S. marine transportation system achieves its full potential for safe, effcient, economical, and environmentally friendly commerce will require action to seize the opportunities and confront the challenges before us. The opportunities are many, but challenges abound: Ameri- ca's bustling waterways are getting busier than ever, as eco- nomic growth and the domestic Energy Renaissance place greater demands on the intermodal transportation system. Larger, more powerful vessels traverse a gauntlet of danger- ously underfunded waterway infrastructure, with many locks and dams having gone neglected for nearly a century. Advancements in technology and the laudable quest for U.S. energy independence are changing the nation's economy for the better, but are also creating new and sometimes confict- ing waterway uses. How will our nation address these challenges and realize the potential of the marine transportation system of the 21 st century? Robust, proactive collaboration among govern- ment agencies and between the public and private sectors will be essential. Our collective goal must also be a central focus on the core objectives of safety, environmental stew- ardship, and economic effciency. Critical to the Economy Realizing the compelling vision of a vibrant marine trans- portation system for the 21 st century starts with recognizing the natural advantages of waterborne transportation as the safest and most effcient transportation mode. Today, one 15-barge tow transports the equivalent of 216 rail cars or 1,050 trucks. 2 So, marine transportation today is arguably the most environmentally friendly and the safest mode of transportation for workers and the public. The 21 st Century Marine Transportation System Keeping the new economy moving safely and effciently. by MS. Jennifer A. CArpenter Executive Vice President The American Waterways Operators Stakeholders' Perspective Less is more: Barges have a greater carrying capacity and are more energy effcient than trucks and trains. Courtesy of American Water- ways Operators.

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