Since 1912 the Louisiana Maritime Association (LaMA) has been a driving force of commerce and innovation on the Mississippi River. LaMA represents its members in a wide range of matters affecting the maritime industry. Under the heading of Navigational Safety, the Association deals with such diverse matters as maintaining adequate deep-draft anchorages and channels throughout the Gulf of Mexico. The Association’s long-time commitment to safety is clearly seen in the development of a bridge-to-bridge communication system to increase navigational safety, which was sponsored by the Association in the early 1960s.
The actions of many government entities impact the maritime industry. LaMA is the industry’s liaison with Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Corps of Engineers, the Transportation Security Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. LaMA addresses matters at the source of regulation, including working through the Pilotage Fee Commission, the Louisiana Legislature and through our active membership on several national maritime associations.
One of the Association’s most important functions is to disseminate timely information to its members. In partnership with the Big River Coalition, LaMA keeps its members updated on the status of draft conditions and related legislative and funding issues as we continue to make the Mississippi River the most productive and efficient in the nation.
Captain Ronald W. Branch
(504) 833-4190 (Ext. 804)
President, Big River Coalition
(504) 833-4190 (Ext. 805)
The Big River Coalition
The Big River Coalition is committed to protecting maritime commerce across the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MRT). The Coalition focuses on maximizing transportation efficiencies on the deep-draft ship channel from Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico. As concerns grow about the future management of the Mississippi River system and efforts are increased to help reduce or prevent adverse impacts related to flood protection, protecting water supplies, recreational boating, fishing, invasive species, coastal restoration, and minimizing the negative impacts of runoff and pollutants, it is critical to the nation’s economy that navigation remains unimpeded. The best economic estimates available indicate that the MRT has over a $400 billion annual impact on the economy of the United States. Therefore, as visions of the future of the MRT are shaped, it is imperative that navigation representatives strive to ensure that systematic approaches protect maritime trade by maintaining fully authorized channel dimensions while also updating and maintaining our navigation infrastructure, specifically the locks and dams along the MRT. The Big River Coalition missions are focused on securing increased funding from the Harbor Maintenance Tax and the Inland Users Fuel Tax, efforts to deepen the Lower Mississippi River to 50 feet and to increase the beneficial use of dredge material or “sediment recycling.”
The Big River Coalition is at the forefront of efforts to deepen the Mississippi River Ship Channel to 50 feet.
Chris M. Cunningham, Ph.D.
(504) 833-4190 (Ext. 801)
(504) 833-4190 (Ext. 802)
(504) 833-4190 (Ext. 803)