US Maritime Administrator visits WMU
On 20 June, President Doumbia-Henry warmly welcomed Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby (ret.), Administrator of the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) to the World Maritime University (WMU). WMU says this first visit provided an opportunity for Rear Admiral Buzby to learn more about the University as well as address the staff and students. “This visit also provided an excellent opportunity for our students to get a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of MARAD and the US Coast Guard and to be able to directly engage in an exchange of views with the Maritime Administrator,” the President stated.
In his remarks, RADM Buzby spoke of his passion for the maritime industry and lifelong love for the sea. He outlined the important role MARAD plays including providing an efficient merchant marine in peace time that has the requisite expertise to serve in times of crisis, if needed. In answering audience questions about sustainable use of the ocean, he emphasized the need for transparent dialogue. “Everyone is turning to the sea for their solutions, and all of this has great potential to clash. It’s an interesting policy question that has to be worked through, and there has to be a balance with a transparent dialogue weighing the pros and cons. There is unlimited capability, but no such thing as unlimited resources,” he stated. He also noted the important role the students will play as they return to their home countries and put into play the knowledge they have gained at WMU to influence the maritime industry, responsible coastal development and sustainable use of ocean resources.
MARAD is the agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation dealing with waterborne transportation, its seamless integration with other segments of the transportation system, and the viability of the U.S. merchant marine. The agency’s accountability involves ships and shipping, shipbuilding, port operations, vessel operations, national security, environment, and safety. MARAD is also charged with maintaining the health of the merchant marine, since commercial mariners, vessels, and intermodal facilities are vital for supporting national security, and so the agency provides support and information for current mariners, extensive support for educating future mariners, and programs to educate America’s young people about the vital role the maritime industry plays in the lives of all Americans. The Maritime Administration also maintains a fleet of cargo ships in reserve to provide surge sea-lift during war and national emergencies, and is responsible for disposing of ships in that fleet, as well as other non-combatant Government ships, as they become obsolete.