VMA Reveals Four 2019 Port Champions at Maritime Banquet
Friday, May 10, 2019
Posted by: Laura Bird
During the Virginia Maritime Association's 99th Annual Maritime Banquet, the VMA revealed they were awarding the Port Champion to four different port partners: U.S Coast Guard, U.S. Customs & Border Patrol, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.
Port Champion Recipients stand with David White, the Executive Vice President of the Virginia Maritime Association.
Virginia’s ports are an economic engine that relies daily on the hundreds of Federal partners that ensure the safety and security of our ports. The men and women of the U.S Coast Guard, U.S. Customs & Border Patrol, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration routinely work behind the scenes to ensure that our maritime & transportation-related businesses can continue to grow and flourish.
During the longest government shutdown in history, these service members, officers, inspectors, and scientists worked tirelessly and without pay from December 22nd, 2018, to January 25th, 2019, ensuring the uninterrupted flow of commerce through our ports for 35 days.
As the Virginia Maritime Association’s 2019 Port Champions, our selfless partners faithfully go to work each day to support trade, ensure safe navigation, and stand vigilant watch over our ports, despite the challenges they may face, allowing Virginia’s maritime supply chain to remain strong.
Hundreds of U.S. Coast Guard personnel at the Fifth District and Sector Hampton Roads readily stand watch over Virginia’s portions of the Atlantic Coast, Chesapeake Bay and tributaries, Intracoastal Waterway, and the busy waterfront terminals that comprise Virginia’s regional port.
Over 100 personnel at U.S. Customs & Border Protection’s Norfolk-Newport News Area Port Office safeguard Virginia’s borders by ensuring that the cargo, vessels, and crews coming to our ports are vetted and secure.
Local U.S. Department of Agriculture personnel ensure our imported and exported agricultural and food products are properly documented and free from invasive pests and diseases.
Over 130 personnel at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s Atlantic Marine Operations Center and regional fleet provide critical survey and charting data for navigational safety. Additionally, the National Weather Service Forecast Office Wakefield, Virginia, provides meteorological and ocean data, weather forecasts, and warnings for mariners and port stakeholders.
While much is said about our advanced port infrastructure, the widening and deepening of our channels, and the volume of cargo flowing in and out of our port, none of it would be possible without the women and men of our federal partners, our 2019 Port Champions.