Marine Highway Program gets a new name but less money

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) today announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity making $12,423,000 available in Fiscal Year 2023 funds through what is now called the United States Marine Highway Program (USMHP) and was previously named America’s Marine Highway Program.

The FY 2023 funding level is worth less than one-third of the nearly $39 million awarded to 12 projects under the program’s original name back in October 2022.

The program seeks to increase the use of America’s navigable waterways, especially where water-based transport is the most efficient, effective, and sustainable option.

“Since the establishment of the marine highways program, MARAD has awarded more than $91.6 million in competitive grants to eligible organizations for marine highway services,” said Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips. “These grants have supported the development and expansion of marine highways, vessels, and landside ports and infrastructure, which are critical to building supply chain resilience.”

The Department will evaluate projects using criteria including the effect on movement of goods, level of non-federal funding investment, use of domestic preference, consideration of equity, and environmental justice. The Department will also consider geographic diversity when selecting grant recipients, as well as how the project addresses challenges faced by rural areas.

Applications for the Marine Highway Program grants must be submitted through by 11:59 p.m. EST on April 28, 2023.
For technical assistance, MARAD will host a series of webinars during the USMHP grant application process.

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