Gulf of Mexico Area Maritime Security Committee names new chairperson

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NEW ORLEANS – The 8th Coast Guard District chief of outer continental shelf division has been named the chair of the Area Maritime Security Committee, Sept. 11.

As the chair, Capt. David Nichols will act as the liaison between the Coast Guard, other governmental agencies and industry members to develop plans to improve security for rapidly growing offshore industries.

“While there are a number of Area Maritime Security Committees across the country, the Gulf of Mexico AMSC is unique in that it treats the Gulf as though it were a single port,” said Nichols.

This includes oversight of oil and gas drilling and production operations, which are expected to increase by 40 to 60 percent in the next three to five years.

“Standing up a new division on the 8th District staff presents an outstanding opportunity for the Coast Guard to focus on the rapidly growing offshore oil and gas industry to ensure that exploration and production activities are being conducted by the safest means possible,” said Nichols.

In addition to focusing on security in the Gulf, the new outer continental shelf division will assist with the six Coast Guard coastal sector field offices in the interpretation and application of new and existing safety regulations related to outer continental shelf activities.

The Committee was created in 2004 by the Maritime Transportation Security Act to assess and plan for maritime security on the outer continental shelf region of the Gulf of Mexico.

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