MARAD’s 2018 Budget Shows Sharp Reduction
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
WASHINGTON — The proposed 2018 budget for the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration is $390.8 million, a reduction of $131.8 million from 2017’s enacted level. The decrease included zeroing out two major sections of the MARAD budget.
The $390.8 million proposal includes $171.8 million for operations and training, down from 2017’s $175.6 million. This line for 2018 includes $84.4 million for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, $27.4 million for the six state maritime academies and $4 million for the Short Sea Transportation Program.
The $210 million for the Maritime Security Program — down from $300 million in 2017 — is to be applied to ensuring that a commercial fleet of military useful ships and mariners is maintained.
The $9 million for the ship disposal program includes $4 million to dispose of obsolete ships in the National Defense Reserve Fleet and $3 million to maintain the nuclear-powered ship Savannah, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission requirements.
Zeroed out were the Assistance to Small Shipyards program and the Maritime Guaranteed Loan Program, which for 2017 were funded at $10 million and $3 million, respectively.