Tim Runyan of the National Maritime Alliance has submitted an Op-Ed from the Maritime Executive in connection with his effort to solicit support for the STORIS Act’s inclusion in the National Defense Authorization Act.
Tim Runyan provided links to two new articles in the Maritime Executive:
Here is his template for letters of support: Storis.draft.7.3.15
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 RunyanT@ecu.edu 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.
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.
The following is a press release from Senator Vitter’s office forwarded by Tim Runyan of the National Maritime Alliance. Tim writes that the Act “includes a provision to reverse the amendment to the National Maritime Heritage Act that eliminated the requirement that one-quarter of ship recycling funds be directed to the maritime heritage grant program. This bill will restore that full funding.”
Vitter, Cassidy, Graves Introduce Legislation to Improve Ship Recycling, Create Jobs
Thursday, June 4, 2015
(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senators David Vitter (R-La.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) today introduced the Ships to Be Recycled in the States (STORIS) Act, legislation to reform the domestic marine recycling industry. Their legislation would improve the domestic ship recycling industry and promote transparency by requiring reports from Maritime Administration (MARAD) and an audit by the Government Accountability Office. Congressman Garret Graves (R-La.) is introducing the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The Maritime Administration receives millions of dollars in federal funding, but they’ve never reported how the sales money is spent or how the agency awards contracts,” Vitter said. “Ship recycling is an important part of our domestic maritime industry, and these reforms would improve federal contracting, cut government waste, and help create jobs in Louisiana.”
“Louisiana directly benefits from the Maritime Administration—hundreds work in ship recycling facilities and many state museums receive maritime grants,” said Cassidy. “There have been concerns that the agency receives millions in federal funding but lacks transparency. The STORIS Act will strengthen oversight over the agency and help create more jobs for Louisiana workers.”
“Americans expect the federal government to operate in their best interest,” said Graves. “We have found multiple instances where the U.S. Maritime Administration has failed to maximize the return on investment on the sale of retired federal vessels by not accepting the highest bid on a number of contracts and not fulfilling its obligation to reinvest these funds in our merchant mariner workforce. This bill will prevent MARAD from leaving millions of dollars on the table in regard to ship recycling contracts and require that we have the workforce we need to increase global trade and exports from Louisiana.”
Current law requires all excess government vessels to be sold to domestic marine recyclers to be dismantled. A portion of funding from the sales goes toward the Vessel Operations Revolving Fund, federal and state maritime academies, and the maritime heritage grant program. The STORIS Act would make sure that the required funding goes to federal and state maritime academies and to heritage grants funding to the Department of Interior. It would also require MARAD to issue an annual report on how its money is spent and publicize its ship recycling agreements.
Additionally, the STORIS Act creates jobs by ensuring that all vessels can be dismantled in the United States in compliance with U.S. environmental and safety laws, and are not exported where those safety rules do not apply.
The STORIS Act is named in recognition of the former Coast Guard Cutter STORIS, which was dismantled in Mexico in 2013 in violation of the current law.
Applications will be available and accepted for 2015 Maritime Heritage Grants between May 15 and August 3, 2015. A total of $1.7 million will be available. Applicants may request $50,000-$200,000 for preservation projects, or $15,000-$50,000 for education projects.
For more information visit the NPS 2015 Grant Program and Application Information.
Congratulations to CAMM members who were among the recipients of the National Park Service’s Maritime Heritage Grants:
Replacement of the Sailing Ship Star of India‘s Weather Decks
- Recipient: Maritime Museum Association of San Diego
- Amount: $192,794
- Project: The project will replace the weather decks of the Star of India, a National Historic Landmark and one of the world’s oldest active sailing ships.
USS Pampanito World War II Submarine Preservation Project
- Recipient: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
- Amount: $192,754
- Project: The USS Pampanito, a World War II submarine, will undergo drydocking and other maintenance and repairs to preserve the submarine in her 1945 configuration.
Restoration of the 1908 Steamboat Sabino
- Recipient: Mystic Seaport Museum
- Amount: $199,806
- Project: This project will restore the 1908 steamboat Sabino, one of two surviving excursion steamers in the US and the only one on the East Coast.
National Fisherman: Documenting a Sea Change
- Recipient: Penobscot Marine Museum
- Amount: $40,784
- Project: The project will digitize, re-house, and catalogue the museum’s twentieth-century image collection, allowing it to be published in the museum’s online collection database.
Conservation of the Purrington-Russell Panorama for Exhibition and Educational Programming
- Recipient: Old Dartmouth Historical Society/New Bedford Whaling Museum
- Amount: $49,845.25
- Project: The New Bedford Whaling Museum will conserve, digitize, and make broadly accessible the 1848 “Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage Round the World,” a maritime artwork depicting a nineteenth-century American whaling voyage.
USS Constitution: From Forest to Frigate
- Recipient: USS Constitution Museum
- Amount: $50,000
- Project: The museum is creating a multi-media experience to welcome and introduce audiences to the history and significance of the USS Constitution, plus the repair process underway on board the ship.
Cradles and Cantilevered Shelving for the Museum’s Boat Collection
- Recipient: Columbia River Maritime Museum
- Amount: $33,549
- Project: Grant funds will be use to purchase cantilevered racks and moveable cradles for boats up to 50 feet in length as part of the conversion of a recently purchased former retail hardware store and lumber warehouse into a state-of-the-art collections storage facility.
Critical Projects for the Continued Preservation of USS Olympia
- Recipient: Independence Seaport Museum
- Amount: $169,850
- Project: Grant funds will be used to support a series of preservation and rehabilitation projects aboard the Cruiser Olympia.
USS Monitor Artifact Conservation and Outreach Project
- Recipient: Mariners’ Museum
- Amount: $99,900
- Project: The Mariners’ Museum will acquire a specialized dry ice abrasion system to clean the Monitor‘s large wrought iron artifacts, including the ship’s 120-ton revolving gun turret, engine components, and structural elements such as armor plating.
Free Public Rides on Historic Small Craft
- Recipient: Center for Wooden Boats
- Amount: $28,000
- Project: Grant funds will allow volunteer skippers to take the public out in historic sailboats, a wood-powered steam boat, an electric launch, and paddled skin-on-frame boats called Umiaks.
Preservation of the National Historic Landmark 1889 Tugboat Arthur Foss
- Recipient: Northwest Seaport
- Amount: $87,000
- Project: This project will drydock the Arthur Foss to complete basic maintenance and repair needed since the last haulout in 2007 and complete actions critical to the preservation of the ship.
In the 2014 grant cycle, 35 grants in 21 states, totaling $2,607,025, were awarded under the first round of the re-established Maritime Heritage Grants Program. For a complete list of recipients goto http://www.nps.gov/maritime/grants/recipients.htm
National Park Service Director, Maritime Administrator to Visit USS Constellation, Announce $2.6 Million in Maritime Heritage Grants
Baltimore, MD – On Monday, April 27, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis and Maritime Administrator Paul N. Jaenichen will announce approximately $2.6 million in Maritime Heritage Program grants to be used for the preservation and education of maritime resources across the country. The grants will be announced onboard the USS Constellation; a 19th century frigate docked in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
The National Maritime Heritage Grant Program is administered by the National Park Service in partnership with the Maritime Administration. The grants are supported by revenue from the scrapping of vessels from the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve Fleet. These ships are purchased for recycling and the revenue provides assistance for a broad range of maritime education and preservation projects without expending tax dollars, while the metal in the purchased vessels is used to build new ships.
Source: Press release from NPS Office of Communications
From Tim Runyan of the Maritime Alliance:
Attached is an Op Ed article: “Fleecing Maritime Schools and Heritage Organizations” from Maritime Executive written by Denise Krepp. It addresses ship recycling at the Maritime Administration, including its relevance to maritime heritage funding. Very lively!
Work continues on achieving full funding for the maritime heritage grants program. I have made two visits to Capitol Hill in the past two months to meet with House and Senate staff members as we develop strategies and allies in our effort.
Tim Runyan, chair of the National Maritime Alliance is leading the effort to restore funding to the Maritime Heritage Grants program to its original levels:
The “Storis Act” offered by Sen. Begich of Alaska includes Section 5 (c) that would restore funding for the maritime heritage grants program at the former level before the MARAD amendment to the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act gave all authority to MARAD. Today I learned MARAD is pushing back in order to keep the money, so we have a fight.
Bills are being marked up on Capitol Hill as I write. We must write now to members on the committees that will be involved in this bill. There are 4 committees—2 House, 2 Senate. Click here for Senate / House committees list (Word Version) or (PDF version).
Here is a letter template for your convenience. Fill it out with your information. Email the letter to the committee members from your home state. You can write to all senators through their Senate web site—you must be a member of the district to submit a letter to a congressman via their web site. Unless you have an email address to send to, you will need to copy and paste your letter into their online form. I suggest sending a hard copy of your letter by snail mail.
Please send me a copy of your letters.
I thank you for stepping up and your willingness to help. We must contact these members of the House and Senate now if we are to succeed. Millions in grant funding for the maritime heritage community is at stake. Please make these contacts.