Category Archives: Advocacy

Senate passes Maritime Administration Authorization

An update from Tim Runyan of the National Maritime Alliance:

Last night (June 29), the Senate passed the Maritime Administration Authorization bill (S. 2829), led by Sen Deb Fischer (R-NE), chair of the subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and Ranking Member of the subcommittee, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).

This is important because the House National Defense Authorization Act (H. R. 4904)  includes the House approved MARAD Authorization. The MARAD Authorization has to be in the Senate NDAA, if the Senate is to accept the House language to restore the maritime heritage grant program, when they conference.  Conferencing is beginning. Of course, we expect the MARAD Authorization to be included in the Senate NDAA.

Now we can focus on winning at the conference of the House and Senate.

Another hurdle cleared!

Thanks for your support, and now we need to press members of the Senate to accept the language in the House NDAA–H.R. 4909, Title 35, Section 3508, which restores the maritime heritage grant program by directing that one-fourth of the ship scrapping profits received by MARAD be transferred to the Secretary of the Interior for the NPS-administered maritime heritage grant program.

Best, Tim

Support for Full Funding of Maritime Heritage Grants

Tim Runyan of the National Maritime Alliance has shared some good news:

A win!!

We scored a big win early this morning as the marathon session by the House Armed Services Committee marked up the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. Language was included to restore the maritime heritage grant program. It was included in the Seapower subcommittee mark adopted by the full Committee.

Also included was an amendment to require the Maritime Administration to provide detailed reports on the ship recycling program, and report on funds for maritime heritage.

Earlier, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee included language in the maritime bill requiring an annual report by the Maritime Administration on the vessel disposal program. It includes several references to the National Maritime Heritage Act and asks for reporting on the uses of heritage funds.

Next steps: bills move to the floor for approval; then to the Conference of the House and Senate; then signed into law by the President. The House–Senate conference is key, as our bill for restoration of the maritime heritage grant program is in the House bill, and must be accepted by the Senate. 

We must continue our advocacy efforts to clear these next hurdles. Major focus this past week was the Senate–three days of meetings. We need both House and Senate support going forward.

My thanks to all for your support, and contacting members of Congress. It makes a difference.

A little celebrating is in order! 


CAMM Welcomes Lowell’s Boat Shop as Newest Member

During its October 8, 2015 meeting, the Council of American Maritime Museum (CAMM) Board approved the Lowell’s Boat Shop’s application for membership. They are delighted to welcome this maritime museum and educational facility to the CAMM community.

Courtesy of Lowell's Boat Shop

CAMM’s newest member is located in Amesbury, Massachusetts. Courtesy of Lowell’s Boat Shop

Located in Amesbury, Massachusetts on the North bank of the Merrimac River, Lowell’s Boat Shop was established in 1793. According to their website it is the “oldest continuously operating boat shop in America and is cited as the birthplace of the legendary fishing dory.  . .  . skilled craftsmen continue to build wooden boats in the Lowell tradition on the property purchased by founder Simeon Lowell in the 1700s. The oldest buildings remaining on the site are combined Greek revival structures that were built in the early 1860s: the downriver shop by Simeon’s grandson, Hiram Lowell, and the adjacent Morrill and Flanders boat shop that was moved to the site by Hiram’s son, Fred E. Lowell.  In the 1940s, Ralph Lowell, the last of the Lowell family to own the business, further expanded the building at each end with the additions of the Office and the Paint Room.”

Designated a National Historic Landmark in in 1990, the Boat Shop has been run as a non-profit working museum since 1994. In January 2007, the Boat Shop was purchased by Lowell’s Maritime Foundation whose mission is “to preserve and perpetuate the art and craft of wooden boat building and promote the history of Lowell’s Boat Shop and its environs.”  Lowell’s continues to build its full line of dories and skiffs for oar, sail or power.  Innovative educational programs and exhibits are offered to the public throughout the year, and rowing is available seasonally.

More on Maritime Heritage Funding

Many thanks to those of you who have written in support of the Storis Act (S. 1511 and H.R. 2876) . Those following the issues behind the potential legislation to restore full funding to the grants program may be interested in an article by Denise Krepp published yesterday in The Maritime Executive.

If you haven’t already, please send letters supporting the Bill. Here is Tim’s most recent template: Storis letter of support 7.3.15. If possible, send copies of your letters to Tim at Tim provided a list of the pertinent committee members in a previous blog post.

Maritime organizations (including many CAMM members) received over $2.6 million from the 2014 National Maritime Heritage Grants cycle. (See recipient list.) The National Park Service is currrently accepting proposals for another $1.7 million in funding. Education projects can request $15,000 to $50,000 and preservation projects can request $50,000 to $200,000. A one-to-one match from non-Federal sources is required. Federal entities cannot apply but their partners or friends groups can.

For those of you considering an application for a 2015 grant, the August 3 deadline is fast approaching. Keep in mind that it takes up to two weeks for your registration on the federal grants website to be processed. For more information visit the NPS maritime grants website.

Maritime Heritage Funding Bills – Action Needed

June 28, 2015

Maritime Heritage Funding Bills Introduced in U.S. House and Senate—Action Needed

Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) introduced in the House on June 24 the Storis Act (H.R. 2876), the companion to the Senate bill (S. 1511, Storis Act) introduced June 4 by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA). Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) was co-sponsor. It was referred to the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

The House bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Rep. Filomen Vela (D-TX). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce and Energy and the House Armed Services Committee.

Both versions of the Storis Act include Section 4 (c) (C), which will restore the maritime heritage grant program at the level of funding set in the National Maritime Heritage Act (1994). This is a major step forward and requires action by the maritime heritage community. We must contact members of Congress to secure more sponsors of the bills, and supporters in both House and Senate. This will ensure the bills will pass committees and be incorporated in a spending bill.

A draft letter is attached. Also attached is a list of committee members of the Senate Commerce Science and Transportation Committee, and the House committees on Commerce and Energy, and Armed Services. Note the list of members of the three subcommittees assigned to act on the bills. We must contact those members.

Write to those on committees in your district and state. If your senators or representatives are not on the three committees, write anyway. You can urge them to become sponsors of the bills, or vote if a bill is on the floor.

Contact with members of Congress is critical. If possible, copy your e-letter to the appropriate staff member in the office. Please make the effort. Please send me copies of your letters.

Thanks for your support.

Tim Runyan                                                                                                                                                                      Chair, National Maritime Alliance

Support Letter Template Storis Act.6.29.15

Senate CST Committee.Subcom. Surface Trasport. 2015.

Subcoms. on Environment and the Economy Armed Services

Support Needed for Bill to Restore Maritime Heritage Funding

Submitted by Tim Runyan, Chair, National Maritime Alliance


Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the Storis Act on June 4, with co-sponsor Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). It is Senate Bill 1511 (S. 1511).  Storis (Ships to be Recycled in the States) Act was referred to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee (CST). The Act includes Section 4 (c) (C) that restores funding for the maritime heritage grants program.

Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) is expected to introduce the Storis Act in the House very soon.

However, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee just introduced its version of the Coast Guard Authorization Act that we hoped would include the Storis Act (S. 1511)–it did not. We must alert senators, and ask them to add the Storis Act to the Coast Guard bill; or support the Storis Act as a stand alone bill. CST has scheduled an executive committee meeting for Thursday, 25 June. We must act NOW!

I have attached a draft letter for you. Please email/mail your letters to your senators, and appropriate staff members. Write both of your senators–most will not be on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee (CST). I have attached a list of members.

You can write on behalf of your organization to a member of the CST Committee—I suggest Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) the Ranking member of CST; Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) Ranking member of the subcommittee on Surface Transportation, Merchant Marine, and Ranking member of the subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) are also on both of those subcommittees. Also, Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI); Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) On Oceans, Coast Guard subcommittee.                                                                             

If you know of maritime heritage organizations or initiatives in the state please mention them. Write your senators; and target CST Committee members.

I know writing takes some time. But we know that advocacy pays off–$7M.  $2.6M awarded in April, and the deadline for round two proposals ($1.7M), is August 3.

Please write before Thursday, later if you must.


Letter to Support Storis Act

Senate CST Committee 2015