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Duluth News Tribune
The Coast Guard recently shared its icebreaking playbook in advance of the March 25 start to the Great Lakes shipping season. It figures to get an assist from Mother Nature with thawing temperatures. “I expect traffic will be moving in both directions on opening day,” said Mark Gill, Coast Guard director of vessel traffic services based at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, “It’s going to be a challenge, with 82 to 83 percent ice cover on Lake Superior, but there’s a great forecast over the next 10 days, and maybe we can whittle that down in half or greater.” The Coast Guard will use the cutter Alder, its heavy icebreaker Mackinaw and get an assist from the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Samuel Risley to break out Lake Superior in the coming days.
Under the President’s 2020 Budget Plan, there is a reduction the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) funds that support training and grants to State and local governments by $691 million compared to the 2019 enacted level.
Here is the text taken from page 45 of the Major Savings and Reforms within the Presidential Budget:
“The Budget proposes to eliminate funding for FEMA's Continuing Training Grants, National Domestic
Preparedness Consortium (NDPC), Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS), Pre-Disaster
Mitigation (PDM) grant program, and Emergency Food and Shelter Program. These programs are proposed
for elimination because they are duplicative of other Federal programs and are primarily State and local
responsibilities. Continuing Training Grants, NDPC, and CHDS are proposed for elimination because other
grant funds to State and local entities can be used to pay for training activities, they are duplicative of
FEMA's Emergency Management Institute and Center for Domestic Preparedness, and they are State and
local responsibilities. The PDM grant program is proposed for elimination because activities funded under
this program can generally be funded by the National Public Infrastructure Pre-Disaster Mitigation Assistance program authorized by P.L. 115-254. The Emergency Food and Shelter Program is proposed for elimination because it is duplicative of Federal homeless assistance programs administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and because emergency food and shelter is primarily a State and local responsibility.
The Budget further proposes to reduce funding for Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG),
the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP), the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), Port
Security Grant Program, and Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP). The budget proposes a 25 percent
non-Federal cost match for grant programs that currently do not require one (SHSGP, UASI, and TSGP) in
order to share accountability with State and local partners and to align with other FEMA grant programs.
The Budget also proposes reductions to unauthorized programs (Port and Transit Security Grant Programs). Other reductions to State and local grants are proposed in order to ensure adequate funding for core Department of Homeland Security missions and higher priority investments, and encourage grant recipients to begin to incorporate the full cost of preparedness activities into their own budgets. Additionally, the Government Accountability Office has repeatedly recommended that FEMA assess national preparedness to prioritize grant funding.1,2,3,4 Though FEMA has begun taking steps to assess how their program funding closes capability gaps, there is much more to be done to determine grant results. The Federal Government should not continue to spend billions of dollars on non-competitive grant programs where FEMA is unable to measure outcomes.
In 2017 and 2018, the Congress appropriated more than $3 billion in FEMA Federal Assistance, and is
expected to appropriate a similar level for 2019. This generous pipeline of funding, when combined with
the $2 billion requested in the Budget, would ensure adequate resources for State and local projects for the foreseeable future. Of the $4.2 billion in awards made since 2015, recipients of FEMA's two largest grant programs - SHSGP and UASI - are currently carrying $2.2 billion in unspent balances, or 52 percent of awarded funds. The Federal Government cannot afford to over-invest in programs that State and local
partners are slow to utilize when there are other pressing needs.”
With a clear impact on the Port Security Grant Program and other training opportunities, this may be a good time to let your Congressional representative know how this may impact you and your region. It also is a good time to take advantage of the upcoming Port Security Grant period, scheduled for April in our last report.
Let us know how we can help you in the process (firstname.lastname@example.org).
FEMA is scheduled to release the 2019 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the 2019 Port Security Grant Program on or about 12 April. Expectations are that there will very few variations from last year’s procedures. And usually, FEMA allows for roughly 6 weeks for the actual application period length. But that of course can be shortened as demonstrated in 2017.
Therefore, as we have said before, it is in your best interest to start building your application package now.
Some things to consider, and areas the NMLEA can assist you are:
If you want to review some key points of the process, take a look at the Webinar we put on last year to discuss some of things to be aware of, by going to our website resource page or by clicking on this link.
- Grant preparation and award administration
- Training Programs to enhance your readiness and response capabilities
- Procurement Assistance in the recommendation, identification, acquisition and implementation of specific equipment
- Exercise planning, development, execution and reporting to meet specific planning
- Online MTSA required training resources
- Cybersecurity Risk Management assessment and implementation
And if you want assistance in any of the areas discussed above, contact us directly by clicking here.
In 2017, and again in late 2018, Boeing rehired its retired workers to fill a critical gap in their production lines. (See Reuters story here.) The reason that this step was necessary, is the same for organizations all across the country... and for maritime public safety departments and agencies in particular (as previously reported in the White Paper: Navigating the Changing Seascape of Maritime Public Safety,) as well as maritime manufacturers (as discussed in the IBEX Webinar, Training the Maritime Workforce: How to Keep Up with the Changing Tide.)
Just like Elvis, institutional knowledge has "left the building," as retirements in this sector has accelerated, and therefore, you need to find a way to tap into that valuable resource and bring them back.
As reported in the January 2019 issue of TD Magazine published by the Association for Talent Development, this should be no surprise. People are living longer now than ever before, according to the World Bank. The average life expectancy across the world has risen from 53 years in 1960 to 72 years in 2015—and it will continue to increase by 1.5 years per decade. (A detailed report by the UN can be found here.) Combine that with declining birth rates, and the reality is clear: the workforce is getting considerably older as the pool of young new workers is shrinking.
So what do you do? How should leaders of public safety agencies and manufacturers, especially in the maritime domain, look at this and react? It's already happening, and you need to pay attention to what is going on all around you. According to a Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies report, Baby Boomer Workers Are Revolutionizing Retirement: Are They and Their Employers Ready?, more than 80 percent of U.S. employers believe that workers ages 50 and older are "a valuable resource for training and mentoring," "an important source of institutional knowledge," and offer "more knowledge, wisdom, and life experience." That should all sound very familiar, given the white papers and webinars we've released and talked about at the National Maritime Law Enforcement Academy (NMLEA).
Put very simply, the retired workforce could provide critical and essential help to maritime patrol departments, natural resource agencies and boat manufacturers of all shapes and sizes. Especially those organizations that have a relatively "new" staff that lack the depth of knowledge and experience to perform certain tasks and in critical areas of responsibility.
As an example of ways to tap into this extensive and far reaching pool of resources, the NMLEA's FLEATS Program now provides agencies with retired and experienced professionals to help leaders manage things like Fleet Life Cycle Management; Equipment Design; Product Evaluation, Acquisition, Assessment, and Testing; Operational Training and Performance Sustainment Services. This allows agencies to get that institutional knowledge and guidance at a fraction of the cost and time it would take otherwise.
All of our partners, inside and outside the maritime domain, should be looking at the makeup of the new workforce, and develop ways to minimize the risk while enhancing the impacts on the future. Using the retired workforce as part of the new workforce for training, mentoring and consultation can make an immediate impact, and help face the challenges of the future.
To discuss this in greater detail, contact us at email@example.com.
The Maritime Executive
Sailors call the latitudes between 40 and 50 degrees south of the equator the "Roaring Forties." During the Age of Sail (circa 15th to 19th centuries), these strong prevailing winds propelled ships across the Pacific, often at breakneck speed. Nevertheless, sailing west into heavy seas and strong headwinds could take weeks, especially around Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America, making it one of the most treacherous sailing passages in the world. The Roaring Forties take shape as warm air near the equator rises and moves toward the poles. Warm air moving poleward (on both sides of the equator) is the result of nature trying to reduce the temperature difference between the equator and at the poles created by uneven heating from the sun.
Maritime Digitalisation and Communications
Israeli maritime cybersecurity firm Naval Dome has licenced its software to Totem Plus, a provider of automation and navigation systems such as ECDIS, for integration with the several hundred existing systems in its portfolio. Totem Plus chief executive Captain Azriel Rahav said “It is crucial for our customers to be supplied with systems that are protected at the very highest level.” He added this is particularly important as Totem Plus’ ECDIS system incorporates a decision-support tool for collision avoidance at sea.
You obey the pedestrian crossing signals but trip on the curb. Wear safety glasses but saw through a power cord. Map out a complex trip but miss a simple turn. It’s the same in boating: Neglecting the little things can lead to big problems. (Just ask the guy who forgot to install the hull drain plug). Want to avoid the big problems? Watch for little things.
The Army Corps of Engineers celebrated the completion of the decommissioning and dismantling of the historic STURGIS vessel that was formerly the world’s first floating nuclear power plant. This was marked by the final section of the former vessel being segmented and brought ashore for processing and recycling at the International Shipbreaking facility in the Port of Brownsville. “We’re extremely proud of the work the team has done on the STURGIS decommissioning and dismantling,” said Army Corps of Engineers Project Manager Brenda Barber.
International oil major BP has announced that it will retail a new very low sulfur fuel oil following successful sea trials, however, it has not released a date when sales will begin. The fuel will have a maximum sulfur content of 0.5 percent and will be sold by BP around the world. BP is one of several refiners, such as Shell and Sinopec, that are offering or are researching low-sulfur fuel. “BP supports the ambitions of MARPOL to reduce air pollution from ships and we have been actively working with partners to prepare for its introduction. We have undertaken a comprehensive test campaign, conducting ship-board trials of our new very low sulfur fuel. Following the success of these sea trials, and working closely with our customers, we believe we now have a robust commercial offer that will support customers in complying with MARPOL,” said Eddie Gauci, Global Head, BP Marine.
Maritime Digitalisation and Communications
While the maritime industry is surging ahead with smart ports, its approach to port cybersecurity is dumbfounding, says Edwin Lampert. There are three major disconnects. First, emerging cybersecurity regulation is encouraging terminal operators to concentrate on operational technology or the operational technology side of things. However, a lot of the attack vectors and evidential threats — such as manifest manipulation, ransomware and extortion, fraudulent payments and rewiring of money — are on the information technology side side.
Trade Only Today
Joe Curran, the chief operating officer at Iconic Marine Group, which builds Fountain, Donzi and Baja performance boats, died recently after a short battle with stomach cancer. He was 54 years old. In his role as COO, Curran was part of Iconic Marine’s original management team and he envisioned the new outboard-powered Donzi performance V-bottom and catamaran that made their debuts at the Miami Boat Show. When asked about some of the negative response about the Donzi Icon 44 catamaran, Curran told Trade Only Today, “If I listened to what people had to say on social media, all our boats would still be stern drive performance boats with room for five people.” He was a straight-shooter with a direct delivery that will be missed.
Consider this: Numarine will introduce its new 78HTS as "the world's most innovative smart yacht" at the Palm Beach International Boat Show, starting March 28. The boat actually was displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January to promote its new artificial intelligence systems worked out with Furrion, the luxury innovation company. The Numarine 78 is indeed smart. On board, you can interact with Angel, a virtual onboard concierge, and with a series of Smart Mirrors that use facial recognition to make most of the boat's systems work just the way you want. You just say, "Hi Angel," or touch the mirror, so the glass surface wakes up and functions like a touchscreen display on a tablet, and you can do everything from firing up the genset to making a reservation at a waterfront restaurant.
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