As the DOT agency responsible for America’s waterborne transportation system, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) is busy. At our core, we support the technical aspects of America’s maritime transportation infrastructure — things like ships and shipping, port and vessel operations, national security, environment, and safety. We promote the use of waterborne transportation, and ensure that its infrastructure integrates seamlessly with other methods of transportation. MARAD 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.
Beyond that, we work hard to maintain the overall health of the U.S. Merchant Marine. 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 of maritime operations in the lives of all Americans.