Plan for Restoring US Maritime Competitive Presence Launched in Washington National security, rules-based platform, secure jobs for all mariners included

WASHINGTON, DC-- A landmark Revitalization Plan for US Maritime Trade, Commerce and Strategic Competition to support and assist in ensuring maritime sovereignty and security, and revitalizing maritime commerce, was launched last week in Washington, DC.  Leading with remarks by Ambassador John D. Negroponte, the first U.S. Director of National Intelligence and former Deputy Secretary of State followed by the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Honorable Albert Bryan, Jr. and President Eric R. Dawicki of the Northeast Maritime Institute, the event also included a panel of subject matter experts on national security, regulatory enforcement, technology and trade, and mariner welfare.  Highlights of the Plan include the formation of the first U.S. open registry, and other maritime initiatives designed to make the United States more competitive, secure and propel it into a stronger leadership position as a maritime nation.


Signifying the import of the Plan, Governor Bryan and President Dawicki participated in the signing of this historic agreement between the U.S. Virgin Islands and Northeast Maritime Institute which features their collaboration on the development of the first open U.S. registry.  The significance of the U.S. Virgin Island’s partnership was made known in the retelling of its acquisition from Denmark by the United States in 1917 to help defend the Panama Canal from German U-boats in the region.


“We gather here today as an interested maritime community, as American citizens and as a collective body of people who care deeply about the maritime industry. We are guided by the creed ‘to honor the Mariner’ and to get back to an industry that has provided wealth and prosperity to our nation throughout the centuries,” stated President Dawicki in his opening remarks.  “The revitalization plan for US maritime trade and commerce and strategic competition is ultimately about providing the United States with the tools to build, promote, and maintain a rules-based order on the high seas, and to reemerge as a competitive maritime nation. The plan recognizes that maritime commerce can lead the way towards economic success, peaceful and meaningful trade and commercial opportunities that are driven through strong and verifiable commitments towards environmental, social and governance standards. This project isn't going to be easy, we will need to come together as one community, one nation, if you will, as common citizens, as mariners, as shippers, as investors and bankers, as trade partners, as manufacturers and retailers alike, and most importantly, through the full support and participation of a harmonized government establishment.”


Captain Anuj Chopra, Co-Founder of ESGPlus, who participated on the panel discussion, commented: “I think this is an opportunity and a day we're going to remember for many years to come. We've had policies which were made decades ago, which served us well in the past as a nation. We now need to rewrite that policy so it will serve us in the 21st and 22nd century, whether it is welfare for seafarers, movement of cargo, security of delivery, or understanding ESG and how it applies to the maritime supply chain or maritime networks.”

A Revitalization Plan for US Maritime Trade, Commerce and Strategic Competition was developed by a team of Distinguished Fellows at the Northeast Maritime Institute – Center for Ocean Policy and Economics (COPE) and advised by an array of leading thinkers in the maritime industry. Key elements of the plan include:


  • Formation of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ open international ship registry—the first, and only, international U.S. open ship registry.
  • Development of a short sea transshipment hub in the Caribbean to alleviate supply chain congestion by moving a portion of east coast distribution from land to sea and increasing the number of ports importing ever-increasing quantities of goods from overseas.
  • Build public/private/international partnerships to address strategic maritime issues, increase transparency and enforce legal and ethical standards.
  • Establish and implement a green shipping strategy, including decarbonization of the U.S.-flagged fleet.
  • Establishing a Maritime Venture Capital Fund to finance commercially advanced technologies that solve maritime and ocean industry problems with a focus on environmental vulnerabilities.
  • Modernization of the maritime workforce by deploying state of the art education and training tools in the US and abroad.


“One of the key advantages to the Revitalization Plan is transparency” observed Carleen Lyden Walker, Chief Evolution Officer of SHIPPINGInsight and an event panelist. “The public is coming closer and closer to our industry, and we must be transparent in the way we operate and account for ourselves. Gone are the days when we could sail over the horizon with impunity. Today, we need to be accountable for our waste streams, our treatment of our Mariners and the construct of our companies.”

“The time is now for a rational, pragmatic and highly strategic plan” concluded President Dawicki. “At this critical juncture in the history of the United States, we have to put this Revitalization Plan into play.”


Go to US Maritime Revitalization Plan Launch to view the full event.


About Northeast Maritime Institute

Northeast Maritime Institute (also called NMI) is a privatecoeducational, maritime college offering an Associate in Applied Science in Nautical Science degree. Established in 1981, Northeast Maritime Institute is the only private maritime college in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The college was originally established to provide an alternative to traditional education and training, with an emphasis on preparing mariners for employment. Graduates receive an Associate degree and are eligible to receive a United States Coast Guard Masters license upon graduation.  Northeast Maritime Institute has trained over 70,000 mariners since 1995.


About COPE

The Center for Ocean Policy and Economics (COPE) is hosted by the Northeast Maritime Institute – College of Maritime Science: Created to tackle some of the ocean’s “wicked problems.” A culmination of years of extensive research and conversations with leading experts in the maritime and ocean related fields, COPE is a facilitator for cogent maritime and ocean policy and economic development project initiatives linking academic, corporate, non-governmental, and governmental partners to create impactful solutions.  Additional information can be found at COPE.

Please contact Carleen Lyden Walker, or +203 260 0480 with questions.


Photo:  Eric Dawicki- President, CEO Northeast Maritime Institute