TTB 2022: A look at the current regulatory landscape for tugs & towboats

Written by Heather Ervin
TTB 2022 on tug and towboat regulations

On March 29—Day 1 of Marine Log’s TTB 2022 conference for the tug, towboat and barge industry—Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for the American Waterways Operators (AWO) Caitlyn Stewart will present on the current regulatory landscape for tugs and towboats in the U.S.

In her address to the audience, Stewart will cover current and pending regulations that will, or have, impacted the TTB community. In addition, she will survey the U.S. regulatory landscape, including Subchapter M, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), decarbonization, and more for towing vessels and barge operators.

The audience will be invited to ask Stewart questions immediately following her presentation.

AWO is partnering with Marine Log on the event scheduled for March 29-30 at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel in Mobile, Ala. TTB 2022 is the only event of its kind exclusively for the tug, towboat and barge industry, where it brings the blue and brown water sectors into one unique venue for two days of expert-led testimonies and education that will enable attendees to make better business decisions in the future.


  • What the outlook for Subchapter M implementation looks like as the phase-in period comes to a close;
  • When the VIDA performance standards will be published and what this means; and
  • Whether the global drive for decarbonization will result in new regulations.

View the complete agenda or register for TTB 2022.


Caitlyn Stewart

Stewart serves as Vice President – Regulatory Affairs of AWO, the national trade association representing the inland and coastal tugboat, towboat and barge industry. In that role, she promotes the industry with the Administration and federal agencies and advocates for sound regulatory policies.

She joined AWO in May 2010 and served as government affairs assistant, government affairs associate, government affairs manager, senior manager – regulatory affairs, director – regulatory affairs and senior director – regulatory affairs before assuming her current position in January 2021.

Stewart holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Calif. A native of Minneapolis, Minn., she now resides in Alexandria, Va.

TTB 2022

The venue, located in Mobile Bay off the Spanish River, is not only close to museums, golf courses and the USS Alabama, it’s also close to industry shipyards, including Austal USA, Alabama Shipyard, Metal Shark Alabama, the Port of Mobile, and more. There are numerous other shipyards, terminals and industry suppliers close by.

In addition to two days of in-person discussions and dynamic Q&A sessions, the event will feature ample opportunities for networking.

As maritime recovers from COVID-19 and handles the challenges of finding and maintaining a quality workforce, the tug, towboat and barge industry is expected to experience continued growth and innovation under a new regulatory landscape and on the cusp of technological advances. The collaboration between Marine Log and the AWO enables both organizations to share resources and industry knowledge in support of the TTB industry at this critical juncture.

As ever, a focus of the program will be on lessons learned from hard-earned, real-life experience. In addition, the program will explore new ways to meet economic and environmental targets through advances in technology, finding new opportunities for the TTB market in offshore, and the latest trends in vessel design.


TTB 2022 guests will have the unique opportunity to visit Austal USA, one of the country’s premier military defense shipyards that specializes in the design, construction and support of military and commercial vessels.

Space will be limited to 80 guests, who will board two buses at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel and head to Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile for a guided tour. Each bus will start at a separate area of the shipyard—the main campus (Bus 1) and the West Campus (Bus 2).

Bus 1 will tour the outside of the Module Manufacturing Facility, where guests will go around the perimeter of the final assembly bays to see where the future USNS Cody (EPF 14), USS Augusta (LCS 34), and the Kingsville (LCS 36) are being erected.

Guests will also tour Austal USA’s vessel completion yard, where the future USS Canberra (LCS 30) and USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32) are berthed in preparation for sea trials and delivery.

Attendees on Bus 2 will start out at Austal USA’s ship repair facility, where Facility Director Harley Combs will demonstrate the improvements Austal USA has made to the facility and explain what repair capabilities are available to customers.

The buses will trade places so all tour participants can see both Austal USA campuses.

Austal USA’s main shipbuilding facility in Mobile is a 165-acre campus on the east bank of the Mobile River that includes four final assembly bays, a 700,000-square-foot Module Manufacturing Facility, two office buildings, an administration building housing the Navy’s program support staff, and a drive-through warehouse. Austal has also constructed a Vessel Completion Yard that serves as the final location for its ships prior to acceptance trials, delivery and sail away.

In 2020, Austal USA purchased 15 acres of waterfront property on the west side of the Mobile River and established a ship service and maintenance facility. The Austal USA West Campus includes a 20,000-ton Panamax-class floating drydock and 100,000 square feet of covered repair facilities.

Austal USA entered the steel shipbuilding market in 2021, breaking ground on the company’s steel manufacturing line positioning the company to start steel production in April 2022. The 117,000-square-foot manufacturing addition will house the latest state-of-the-art computerized and robotic steel processing equipment that has been specified to handle all of the current and future demands of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard.


  • Currently, the growing list of event sponsors includes Sea Machines and ABB (platinum); Austal USA, Bergan Marine Systems, and Hiller Systems (gold);
  • Motor-Services Hugo Stamp Inc., Elkon, Karl Senner, Elliott Bay Design Group, MTU—A Rolls-Royce Solution, Schottel, Christie & Grey, Industrial Service Solutions, SSI, Marine Supply North America, and Moxie Media (silver); and
  • Metal Shark Boats, TowWorks, Louisiana CAT, JonRie, Panolin, MOPS, Phoenix, Tnemec, United Safety & Survivability Corporation, Conrad Shipyard, KVH, RA Mitchell, Coastal Marine Equipment Inc., Separator Spares & Equipment, RIX, Vulkan Couplings, DMT Marine Equipment, Hockema Group Inc., Delgado Community College, and On Site Alignment (bronze).
  • American Equity Underwriters (AEU) will sponsor the cocktail reception at the closing of Day 1. W&O Supply is sponsoring lunch.

Registration for event is now open. Early Bird registration discount ends January 28.

For questions on sponsorships, please contact David Harkey at

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