US MARAD announced the availability of $10,819,000 in grant funding for America’s Marine Highway Program (AMHP), aiming to encourage the use of America’s 25,000 miles of navigable waterways and reduce CO2 emissions in the US transportation system.
he AMHP’s purpose is to provide an efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective transportation system – alleviating road congestion, reducing carbon dioxide, and supporting job employment within local communities, a statement by the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) reads.
The America’s Marine Highway Program increases the use of environmentally sustainable practices to move freight across our transportation system. These investments help local communities reduce congestion and create more economic opportunities,
…said US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
As explained, the Program helps to further integrate coastal and inland waterways into the US transportation system, providing alternate options to traditional shipping methods. The increased movement of freight by water is also essential to achieving greenhouse gas reductions, as it requires less energy and releases fewer emissions than other options.
Since its inception, the AMHP has designated 45 marine highway projects, 21 of which are currently operating. Creating new Marine Highway “container on barge” services on commercially navigable waterways helps create American jobs in US ports, vessels, shipyards and surrounding areas.
For example, since 2010, the Port of Virginia’s 64 Express service, connecting Hampton Roads and Richmond, Virginia via the James River, has removed more than 221,000 cargo containers that would otherwise be carried by trucks along the heavily congested I-64 corridor.
This one marine highway service has saved approximately $5.9 million in road maintenance and more than 17.5 thousand tons of CO2 emissions while also supporting 1,100 direct and indirect jobs, according to US MARAD.