Thursday, March 27, 2008

USCG 6-pack Requires TWIC

United States Coast Guard (USCG) & Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have announced that if you hold any USCG license (including a Coast Guard 6 pack or any Masters license) you have just 6 months left to get a new piece of plastic or your license will be invalidated.Your license will be invalid after Sept 2008 if you do not get a TWIC Card (Transportation Worker Identity Card) from Homeland Security.To get it you have to go personally to their satellite offices and apply for and pay approx. $130 and produce id, and they will take your personal information to have their contractor, Lockheed, prepare and produce a new biometric id card for you to carry. It can be read by automated readers and USCG personnel with wands in the future if they board your vessel. They are into checking IDs now and this is part of the plan for the future to protect our waterways. If you lose your card it costs $60 for a new one. You have to apply for it in person, and then wait one or two months and return to the identical satellite office where you applied to pick up your new TWIC card.

They cannot mail or deliver it and if you are traveling, you are out of luck and need to fly back to where you applied. They are issued by each office separately. If you want to schedule an appointment or ask a question you can contact them by phone on their single national site. No local phones to inquire at. They can deal with you in either Spanish or English when you call.They have a web site explaining it:

Future boardings by the USCG will not only check your boat but also your ID.

Don Baker
New Jersey State Legislative Representative

TWIC and the Recreational Boater

The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, were a clear reminder to the people and government of the United States that the nation is not impervious to the political turmoil and extremist activities that can be found around the globe. Those events were the catalyst for a hard look at the vulnerabilities this country faces in human and economic terms from the capabilities of terrorist groups. Of the nationally vital infrastructures reviewed during this assessment, our maritime borders and facilities were identified as particularly susceptible to direct attack or indirect use as a means to smuggle persons or dangerous items into the country. The Congress determined that some method was needed to confirm that persons working in transportation and, specifically, in port areas or aboard U.S. vessels did not pose a terrorist threat. The Transportation Worker Identification Credential, or TWIC, was the result.

For private marinas and pleasure boat operators who do not carry passengers or cargo for hire, the impact of this rule is expected to be minimal. Nationwide, there are approximately 150 marinas identified as meeting the applicability standard in the security regulations and, of those, there are fewer than 45 that need to have a Facility Security Plan (FSP) on file with the Coast Guard. These marinas must file an FSP because they perform marine transfers of fuel to vessels with a capacity of 250 barrels or more, maintain fuel storage capacity on the facility in excess of 42,000 gallons, and/or accept vessels that carry passengers for hire. At these remaining facilities, a TWIC would be needed by, at most, the individual(s) who requires unescorted access to restricted (for example, fuel storage areas or the fuel dock) areas or who would be responsible for escorting or monitoring the movements of persons who do not hold TWICs while they are on the facility. It was never intended that private individuals, not engaged in commercial maritime activities, would need a TWIC to move through a marina to their boat.

The TWIC program is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiative with joint participation of the U. S. Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TWIC will be issued to U.S. licensed or documented mariners meaning that all individuals issued a license, certificate of registry, or merchant mariner’s document must be issued a biometric transportation security card. A TWIC will also be needed by any person who requires unescorted access to the secure areas of regulated port facilities. This would include steamship or stevedoring company employees, longshoremen, and others who need unescorted access on a regulated facility to perform their jobs. Compliance with the TWIC requirements will be phased in for facilities by port based on the enrollment implementation schedule which will be determined as enrollment begins. Professional mariners and commercial vessels need to comply with TWIC provisions by September 26th, 2008, 20 months after rule publication in the Federal Register.

Who Needs a TWIC?YesNo
A person responsible for escorting others in a restricted area in a marina?X
A boat owner moving through a marina and not engaged in commercial activity?X
A person responsible for monitoring the activity of all employees and visitors (clients)of the marina?X
A vendor or repairman who does not need access to restricted areas?X

Monday, March 24, 2008

USPS® Recognizes Cleanup Squadrons at 2008 Annual Meeting

The United States Power Squadrons’® Environmental Committee presented eight recognition awards for aquatic environmental cleanup efforts at the organization’s 2008 Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas. Partnering with The Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, dozens of squadrons across the nation participated in marine pollution and prevention projects in 2007.
Awards were presented in categories including:

• Largest Piece of Debris Recovered – Sebastian Inlet Sail & Power Squadron, D/8
• Most Unusual Debris Recovered – Perdido Bay Power Squadron, D/15
• Most Disgusting Debris Recovered – New Orleans Power Squadron, D/15
• Funniest Debris Recovered – District 21
• Boats Required – Lake Murray Power Squadron, D/26
• Esprit de Corps – Jones Beach Power Squadron, D/3
• Most Participants (includes members, family, friends, and pets)-
The subcategories for the squadron with both the largest number of participants and the greatest percentage of membership involved, went to
Grand Lake Sail & Power Squadron, D/31.

The USPS Environmental Committee encourages all squadrons to participate in environmental projects. What makes the International Coastal Cleanup unique is its data collection component. Volunteers record specific types of marine debris being found, allowing Ocean Conservancy to compile, analyze and track this data year-by-year and make discoveries about the behaviors that cause the debris. The final information is used to educate the public, business, industry, and government officials about the problem - understanding the problem is the key to finding long-lasting solutions. USPS® members provide a unique resource with their boats, accessing areas that otherwise might not be available to cleanup participants.

The Environmental Committee was formed on an ad hoc basis at the January 2004 Annual Meeting in Orlando. At the 2006 Annual Meeting in Orlando it was made an official committee and assigned to the organization’s Executive Department. The objectives of this committee are:

• To educate the USPS® Membership
• To publicize USPS® environmental efforts internally
• To publicize USPS® environmental efforts externally

The committee has produced an Environmental Best Practices for Boaters brochure intended for hand out at boat shows, boating classes, Vessel Safety Checks, or wherever squadron members come in contact with the boating community. This brochure offers forty-nine best practices including:

• Trash
• Sewage
• Fueling & Spills
• Vessel Maintenance
• Aquatic Environmental Awareness
• Marine Environmental Stewardship

About 80% of marine debris in our boating environment comes from sources nowhere near the water – through storm sewer systems, major flooding events, and so forth – not from other boaters and shipping. A nationwide USPS® project, in which all members will be able to participate, is the Unsplash That Trash Campaign. Members and friends are encouraged to collect a bag of “maritime litter” each time they go boating, and more often than the “trash bashes” held in many boating communities once or twice-a-year. In the planning are trash bags with the slogan “Unsplash That Trash”, accompanied by the USPS logo, for distribution to boat shows, boating classes, Vessel Safety Checks, and members. An accompanying bookmark educates members and the public. The major point of the campaign is: “It doesn’t matter how the trash got there – let’s all make an effort to get it out of our boating environment!”

An ABC Primer brochure with information on undertaking environmental efforts is available to all squadrons. It suggests ways in which they can get involved in environmental projects on the water that will benefit their communities. “The Environment, USPS® IS IN IT!” poster’ message is targeted to all those who live, utilize, and share in our aquatic environment.

USPS® is also a partner in the ANS (Aquatic Nuisance Species) Task Force’s public awareness campaign: "Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers." This campaign is sponsored by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the U.S. Coast Guard.
The campaign educates recreational boaters concerning procedures which will help prevent the spread of harmful plants, animals, and other organisms. Individual squadrons can use these materials, put their local information on them, and take credit for the message! Making this issue part of a Vessel Safety Check conversation would be a good thing – and USPS® is working to do that. Last, but not least, the USPS®

Environmental Committee does not shy away from controversial issues. They have prepared and are presenting a 45-minute seminar on Climate Change entitled “Global Warming…the day after tomorrow?” This presentation is a common sense lesson addressing climatic modeling, the scientific method, junk science, and climate drivers from a geoscience perspective. The seminar has been presented at national meetings, district conferences, and at local squadron meetings.

The United States Power Squadrons® has 45,000 members in over 450 squadrons throughout the United States and abroad. Its members are men, women, and young adults who volunteer and give freely of their time and energy to teach boating safety courses and seminars, provide vessel safety checks, assist the National Ocean Service in updating our nation's over 1000 nautical charts, and in other ways contribute to making boating on our waterways safer and more fun. For further information please visit the USPS Web site at or call (toll free) 888-367-8777.

Rear Commander Jean L. Hamilton, SN
Assistant National Secretary

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Austin Power Squadron Webcast

Enjoy the latest issue of the Austin Power Squadron News Video.