SETWAC Named Port Security Committee of the Year
The Southeast Texas Waterways Advisory Council (SETWAC) has been recognized by the United States Coast Guard as the Port Security Committee of the Year for the period 2020-2022. During this period, SETWAC has cultivated a culture of excellence, promoting maritime safety by fostering active partnerships between maritime and government stakeholders and the implementation of innovative solutions to address critical safety and security issues affecting the Sabine-Neches Waterway.
SETWAC’s Port Coordination Team (PCT) and the USCG have worked in unison with waterway stakeholders to conduct pre-storm preparations during significant weather events, including hurricanes. After each storm passed, the PCT and USCG worked with stakeholders to complete post-storm harbor restoration. These efforts have minimized disruptions to trade flow and restored the transportation and distribution of bulk liquid and military cargo.
- When Hurricane Delta destroyed the Sabine Pass “A” Rear Range (RRA), a critical navigational aid marking the channel entrance for ships, SETWAC independently secured $500,000 in funding to replace the range, three years ahead of schedule, preventing groundings and the supply chain. disturbances.
- In response to an increase in near-miss collisions between deep draft vessels and commercial fishing vessels in the vessel channel, SETWAC has developed safety recommendations to reduce the risk of collision, including the distribution from Mayday cards in English, Vietnamese and Spanish to fishing vessels. . Subsequently, the number of reported near misses decreased by 16%.
- For the past two years, the SETWAC Commercial Fishing Vessel Representative has engaged waterway partners to sponsor fishing vessel safety and survival training. As of June 2022, 178 fishermen had been trained in CPR, man overboard, firefighting, life rafts and cold water survival and 44 man overboard recovery slings had been distributed.
- To raise awareness of career opportunities in the maritime industry, SETWAC has coordinated with local educational institutions and workforce groups to develop and recruit local talent. These collaborative efforts resulted in the development of a high school maritime curriculum for junior and senior high school students; creation of the “Sea Scout Ship 1916”; the development of a series of maritime workshops by the Port Management Center at Lamar University; development of maritime educational resources for all levels of education; creation of Southeast Texas Transportation Week; and the addition of 53-5011.00-Marins/Marine Oilers & 53-7062.00-Labourers/Freight, Stock and Material Movers to Southeast Texas Workforce Solutions’ list of target occupations.
The Beaumont-Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area has over $65 billion in announced industrial projects, many of which are on or will depend on the waterway. This highlights the importance of SETWAC and the role the Council plays in implementing innovative solutions to address critical safety and security issues impacting the Sabine-Neches Waterway.
The Southeast Texas Waterways Advisory Council is a public forum to facilitate the discussion and exchange of ideas, thoughts, and advice among all stakeholders on a wide range of issues relating to the Sabine Rivers and Neches, serving the ports of Port Arthur, Beaumont, and Orange in the southeast corner of Texas. The board can advise regulators and solicit actions from non-regulatory entities to help resolve issues and improve safety. Issues include, but are not limited to: communications, traffic management, moorings and other matters related to safety, efficiency, preservation and improvement of transit and use of the Sabine-Neches waterway system.
SETWAC members include the United States Coast Guard, United States Maritime Administration, United States Customs and Border Protection, United States Army Corps of Engineers, United States Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 842nd Marine Transportation Battalion, U.S. military, local port authorities, barge operating companies, chemical/oil refining docks, Sabine Pilots, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, ship operating companies, harbor tug companies, program shipping, shipyards and ship repair facilities, law enforcement, local chambers of commerce, marine terminals, organized labor, and the Lamar University Center for Advances in Port Management.