‘Responsible Ocean planning is a common sense approach leading to better coordination of our ocean uses. As a third generation Port of NY/NJ Tug Captain as well as a Professor at SUNY Maritime, I am one of the 31,000 New York City residents who earn their livelihood in the maritime industry.
The Port of NY/NJ is the largest on the East Coast, third largest in the nation, and will rise again as the largest in the United States. In 2014, we moved over $200 Billion worth of cargo and have been worked hard to prepare for larger ships and greater cargo movements. We are proud to boast about our accomplishments, but we are well aware of the future challenges we face as an industry. The expansion of the Panama Canal and shifting manufacturing centers make New York Harbor THE prime US Port including Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCV). Articulated tug barge traffic transports the majority of liquid and dry bulk in the region expanding scope of operations and a vessel of choice for blue highway trade of box cargo to remove thousands of trucks a year from the regions already congested highways and bridges.
To move cargo safely and efficiently sea-lanes must be protected for current and future traffic patterns. On top of these changing industry trends, we’re seeing an entirely new offshore industry take shape in the form of renewable wind energy. Our oceans are getting busier, and a tool like ocean planning can help coordinate and plan for these upcoming changes and emerging uses to ensure safe navigation sea-lanes.
The Mid-Atlantic Ocean planning body has provided the Tug & Barge Industry an opportunity to share our information, voice our concerns and offer our suggestions on how to best manage our ocean spaces moving forward. Through the planning process, we were able to provide valuable data on our industry, including information on future trends, which will be critical to future management decisions. Having the best available data publicly available on the ocean data portal is beneficial to the public, the people mariners, managers and other offshore businesses.’