Marine Transportation

Sunday, August 5, 2012 - 8:00pm


The nation’s transportation infrastructure—including marine transportation—forms the physical platform of our economy.  The U.S. Marine Transportation System (MTS) consists of ports, coastal and inland waterways, the Great Lakes, and the St. Lawrence Seaway.  In addition to supporting the nation's economic activities, the MTS provides passenger transportation through ferries, water taxis, and cruise ships and supports national security objectives and recreational activities.

However, inadequate investment and insufficient improvements to the MTS threaten its ability to support domestic economic development, interstate commerce, international trade, and future growth.
Congress and the administration can reinforce the federal government's commitment to the MTS by acting expeditiously to reauthorize Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and other related legislation.  The Chamber’s priorities are outlined in the “U.S. Chamber of Commerce Policy Statement on Marine Transportation.”

To learn more:
                U.S. Chamber Fact Sheet: Inland Waterways and Marine Ports (PDF)

Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)

WRDA provides critical investment in America’s inland waterways and marine ports.  Through WRDA, Congress authorizes U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Army Corps) Civil Works programs and policies related to navigation, flood risk management, recreation, infrastructure and environmental stewardship and conduct studies while annual Appropriations legislation allocates funds for these purposes.  The most recent WRDA reauthorization was enacted in 2007 after Congress overrode a Presidential veto.

To learn more:
                U.S. Chamber Fact Sheet: WRDA (PDF)

Chamber Action

The Chamber continues to inform Members of Congress of the importance of reauthorizing WRDA to provide much-needed critical investment for the U.S. Marine Transportation System.


  • Janet Kavinoky testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the importance of the U.S. Marine Transportation System and its impact on the American economy.
  • Tom Donohue testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure advocating for a strong federal role in role in transportation policy, reform and funding—including marine transportation infrastructure.

Hill Letters

  • April 29, 2013 – Multi-Industry Letter urging the Senate to move forward legislation that would reauthorize WRDA
  • May 14, 2013 – Key Vote Alert! Letter urging the Senate to pass S. 601, the “Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2013”

Additional Resources
The Chamber is developing individual state-by-state fact sheets that highlight the importance of our nation’s marine transportation system in each state.  They are expected to be completed by late summer and will be posted below as they become available.