The Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded $92.3 million in grants to 51 U.S. ports in an effort to improve security both at the ports themselves and at related facilities.
Port security grants totaling $78 million will fund enhanced facility and operational security. Another $5 million will provide for security assessments at ports and terminals to evaluate vulnerabilities and how to correct those security gaps. Finally, some $9.3 million will fund "proof-of-concept" projects, which will explore the use of new technology, such as electronic seals, vessel tracking, and electronic notification of vessel arrivals, to improve maritime security, said DOT.
Congress provided funding for the grant program to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is responsible for security in all modes of transportation, said Transportation secretary Norman Mineta. TSA, along with the Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard, is administering the grant program.
"Protecting seaports and port facilities against the threat of terrorism is imperative," Mineta said. "The terrorist attacks have resulted in a renewed focus on the security of our transportation systems and we at DOT are aggressively meeting these challenges on several fronts."