Coast Guard Commandant Visits Cleveland for Marine Community Day

Cleveland Feb 22 – U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Thad Allen, participated in several events as part of the annual Great Lakes Marine Community Day here on Wednesday.

“America’s maritime transportation system is one of the safest and most efficient in the world,” Adm. Allen said. “Working with our marine industry partners in the region, we can make it even safer and more efficient.”

Allen participated in an executive session with more than 25 leaders of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway maritime transportation community to discuss issues surrounding maritime transportation safety, security, and protection of the environment. During the session, Adm. Allen listened to the concerns of maritime industry leaders and reiterated the commitment he made in his State of the Coast Guard Address last week to enhance the Coast Guard’s marine safety program.

“I have clearly stated the Coast Guard’s longstanding commitment to honoring and serving professional mariners. My plan to enhance the Coast Guard marine safety program that is contained in the fiscal 2009 budget is a reflection of that commitment,” he said during last week’s address in Washington, D.C.

The president’s FY09 budget request, if approved, would add nearly 300 new marine safety positions, open new maritime centers of excellence, and make other program enhancements to improve customer service and restore balance in the Coast Guard’s marine safety program.

Allen also addressed more than 250 members of the Great Lakes maritime community at a dinner Wed. evening.

Marine Community Day is the largest annual event in the Great Lakes region which brings together maritime industry leaders and regulating authorities from both the U.S. and Canada. The events’ objective is to enhance communication between the marine community and those agencies which regulate them and to discuss selected issues concerning marine safety, maritime security, waterways management and the marine transportation system.

Participants included: U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (U.S.), St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (Canada), U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), as well as representatives of U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes fleets, ports, labor organizations, and industries served by Great Lakes/Seaway vessels.

The event is hosted by the Great Lakes Commission and Harbor House Publishers, publishers of Great Lakes/Seaway Review Magazine, with assistance from the Ninth Coast Guard District. The Ninth District with its headquarters in Cleveland, encompasses the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway region.

Marine Community Day 2008 continued Thursday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Cleveland.

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