Congressman Bill Keating's Office Thursday announced that the Massachusetts Maritime Academy was awarded a $1 million grant from the Department of Transportation.
The release from the congressman's office said that the funding for the grant comes from the sale of obsolete vessels from the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF), which were purchased for recycling.
The National Defense Reserve Fleet consists of "mothballed" ships, mostly merchant vessels, that can be activated within 20 to 120 days to provide shipping for the United States of America during national emergencies, either military or non-military, such as commercial shipping crises.
About the NDRF
The NDRF is managed by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD). It is a different entity from the United States Navy reserve fleets, which consist largely of warships.
The NDRF program can give and lend historic artifacts to maritime-heritage organizations and transfer entire ships to memorial associations through special legislation.
The National Maritime Heritage Act requires that 25% of the profit from these sales is distributed to maritime academies for “facility and training ship maintenance, repair, and modernization, and for the purchase of simulators and fuel.” All six of the country’s maritime academies received a $1 million grant.
In his statement, Rep. Keating said, “Mass Maritime is a premier educational institution and this grant will only enhance that. It has an excellent job placement rate in good paying jobs in emerging fields. Contributing to the further success of this institution is a great use of the funds from the sale of old vessels.
“We are extremely pleased that the federal government is using the proceeds from the sale of these last generation vessels to support the education of the next generation of maritime professionals,” said Rear Admiral Richard Gurnon, President of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy".