Legislative Action by the Virginia Maritime Association, Representing Maritime Industries

Since 1920, The Virginia Maritime Association has been “The Voice of Port Industries,” working on behalf of our maritime industries with the Virginia General Assembly, Federal Representatives, as well as Locally Elected, to address issues that directly affect businesses related to Virginia’s ports. 

Throughout the VMA’s nearly 100 years, the Virginia General Assembly has heard our voice and we have acted to protect the interests of the maritime industries, such as:

  • Support and funding for road and rail infrastructure
  • Establishing state tax credits as incentive for cargo growth
  • Bringing an end to duplicate workers compensation requirements faced by maritime employers
  • Resolving the issue of rents and royalties paid for state bottomlands
  • Maintaining the sales and use tax exemptions for the maritime industry

Legislative Success: 

2021 -  $40M was approved by the General Assembly for the repurposing of Portsmouth Marine Terminal for Offshore Wind use and funding allocated for the creation of the state Office of Offshore Wind.

2021 -  The General Assembly appropriated $1.35M towards the first-ever International Trade Plan for Virginia. Funding the International Trade Plan advances the goal to increase international trade output by nearly 50% within the next 15 years. The plan is built on two distinct efforts: first, expand the reach and impact of trade development services to existing Virginia businesses in every region of the state, and second, enhance Virginia’s focus, capabilities, and resources to support existing trade-intensive businesses in expanding and to attract new export-intensive companies to the Commonwealth.

2018 -  Wider, Deeper, Safer® - America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 fully authorizes the Norfolk Harbor Project with a 50/50 state/federal cost-share and the General Assembly authorizes $350M for dredging of the Thimble Shoals Channel to 56 feet and the Atlantic Ocean Channel to a depth of 59 feet, and for the widening of the Thimble Shoals Channel to 1,400 feet. These new depths will allow for two-way traffic and accommodating ultra-large container vessels.

2016 - Historic $350M bond package approved to add the capacity to handle an additional 400,000 containers through Norfolk International Terminals. 

2014 - Appropriation of $6.2M made that year for the planning and preliminary engineering for dredging the Norfolk Harbor to a depth of 55 feet and the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River to depths up to 45 feet, and the strengthening of state laws pertaining to privatization of Virginia’s state-owned terminals.  

For additional information: Legislative Highlights 2000-2016 | Historical Advocacy Milestones

VMA's Port Day

“Port Day” is hosted by VMA each year during the Virginia General Assembly.  All 140 Delegates and Senators are visited by VMA member representatives providing the opportunity to share, bring awareness and answer questions.

Learn about Port Day