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P.O. Box 188
CT 06378
Fax: (888) 436-5413


Connecticut Maritime Coalition News


Please join us for Dinner, Presentations & Panel Discussion

The New Connecticut Port Authority:
Origin, Implementation & Economic Impact

April 20, 2016 . 5:30 – 8:30 pm

Omni Hotels – Chapel Room, 155 Temple St, New Haven, CT 06510

Purchase Tickets Here

Download PDF HERE

November 2015

Santa Buckley Energy, Inc. Celebrates 75 Years!

Santa Energy

The Santa Energy Corporation was founded in 1940 by Stephen & Madelyn Santa. Stephen had worked for SOCONY, the predecessor of Mobil Oil at their Bridgeport, CT barge terminal prior to starting his business. In that year he purchased a delivery truck and a kerosene customer list from SOCONY and started his business out of their Stratford, CT home. The business grew with the help of his four sons and in 1958 they purchased the offices of Mobil in Bridgeport where Stephen had previously worked. 

The family founded the subsidiary, Inland Fuel Terminals Inc. in 1962 and opened a truck terminal in Monroe, CT.  This was the first card-lock fueling facility in the state.  In 1972 Inland purchased the Mobil distillate fuel terminal in Bridgeport giving them better control over fuel quality and supply. The company took delivery of its first barge shipment of #2 heating oil in the fall of 1972. And still to this day the one million gallon barge delivers heating oil from New York Harbor to Bridgeport, CT via the Long Island Sound.

As Santa Energy continued to grow over the years they expanded into the commercial area with the purchase of Buckley Brothers in 1983. And in 1994 a 600,000 barrel marine cargo terminal in Tiverton, Rhode Island was purchased by Inland. This deep water facility allowed efficient distribution of heating oil, diesel and kerosene. Inland also began distributing petroleum products from terminals in New Haven and East Hartford, CT and Everett, MA allowing them to serve all of southern New England.

In 2001, after commercial natural gas was deregulated, Santa Buckley Energy (SBE) was officially created and began serving the energy needs of commercial, industrial, municipal and institutional customers throughout New England. The commercial petroleum products division was folded into SBE, along with natural gas and electricity sales. Recently, commercial propane has been added to SBE's product mix.

Santa Buckley doesn't just rely on gas pipelines and ground transportation to serve customers. The use of water ways throughout the northeast are crucial to conducting business. Not only are various energy products delivered to SBE from the water, but SBE plays a key role in serving marine fuels to vessel operators, in multiple markets, throughout the New England region. SBE is Coast Guard Certified from Greenwich, CT to South Boston, MA and our affiliation with other petroleum transporters enables us to bunker vessels as far north as Portland, ME.

At the retail level, SBE serves the marina market through its partnership with ValvTect Fuel Additives. SBE is a member of the Passenger Vessel Association and has a long tradition of serving the ferry and cruise markets that promote commerce between: CT and NY; the mainland and Southern NE Islands as well as Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. SBE serves the vessels that "work" our waters including: tug and fishing fleets; municipal and government vessels and research ships operated by state universities.

For 75 years Santa has marketed energy products to homes, businesses, industries and institutions. Today, still family-owned and operated, Santa Energy Corporation is a comprehensive energy solutions company providing a full range of energy products including heating oil and propane to Connecticut homes, as well as heating and motor fuels, natural gas, propane and electricity to businesses and institutions throughout New England. Santa offers the benefits of a large energy supplier with the personalized service only a family business can provide.

Connecticut Maritime Coalition
Business Leadership Seminar

Thursday, November 6, 2014 . 7:30 am – 10:30 am

Free Registration, but Seating is limited - Register Early HERE:

7:30 a.m. - CMC Board of Directors Meeting, Breakfast and Networking

8:30 a.m. - Welcome from the CMC - Serving and Growing a 21st Century Maritime Industry in Connecticut, William Gash, Executive Director, Connecticut Maritime Coalition

8:45 a.m. - The Connecticut Maritime Industries Economic Contributions to Connecticut, Peter M. Gioia, Vice President & Economist, Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA)

9:15 a.m. - U.S. Coast Guard Lessons Learned for Connecticut's Ports from Serving in the Gulf of Mexico, Captain Edward J. Cubanski, III, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Commander Long Island Sound

9:30 a.m. - Connecticut Port Authority's Role in Sustaining a 21st Century Maritime Industry in Connecticut, Tim Sullivan, State Director of Waterfront, Brownfield and Transit-Oriented Development, Department of Economic and Community Development

10:00 a.m. - Creating Resilient Waterfronts in Connecticut, Daniel Stapleton, Principal & Senior Vice President, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. and Russell J. Morgan, Principal & Senior Vice President, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.

10:30 a.m. - Adjourn

June 2014

Gov. Malloy: Statewide Port Authority Will Attract New Investment, Economic Development and Create Jobs

(NEW LONDON, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined state and local elected officials and members the state's maritime industry, today held a signing ceremony for legislation that creates the Connecticut Port Authority which will act as a quasi-public agency to market and coordinate the development of the state's ports and maritime economy. The legislation was passed unanimously by both chambers of the General Assembly in May.

"Connecticut's three deep water ports in New London, New Haven and Bridgeport are important assets for attracting investment, expanding business development and creating jobs, all of which are keys to our economic recovery. Working off of the recommendations of our Deep Water Port Strategy Study, we are taking steps to support Connecticut's maritime industries by strengthening the economic potential of our deep water resources," said Governor Malloy. "With this new structure in place, a renewed focus at the state level and a comprehensive strategy that will be driven by the new Port Authority, I am more confident than ever that Connecticut's ports will be in a stronger position to attract more private investment and import and export business while also taking trucks off of our congested highways and driving job growth around the state."

Governor Malloy continued, "As we begin the planning and implementation process to establish the Port Authority, our Administration looks forward to working with our partners in the private sector and our port cities to develop a first-class Port Authority that will allow the state to speak with one unified voice in maritime development and related infrastructure investment. I thank my colleagues in the General Assembly, Democrats and Republicans, and the leadership of both chambers – especially Speaker Sharkey and the Chairs and Ranking members of the Transportation Committee – for their swift passage of this legislation. I would also like to thank the many business and maritime leaders for their work in support of this initiative."

The legislation creates the Connecticut Port Authority (CPA) as a new quasi-public agency governed by a 15-member board. The CPA's primary role will be to coordinate port and maritime economic development, establish a statewide port marketing strategy, and serve as the lead agency in seeking federal and state funding for infrastructure improvements such as dredging.

"With our new Port Authority structure in place, we can begin to turn our underutilized deep water ports into commercial hubs that will create new business markets along our coast and help spur economic growth throughout our state," said Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden). "Not only does our unique location between New York and Boston present new market opportunities, but more cargo on the water means less traffic on our highways."

"After two years of collaboration and hard work, we are finally set to realize the full potential of Connecticut's deep water ports," said State Senator Andrew Maynard (D-Stonington), Senate Chair of the Transportation Committee. "I want to thank the governor for lending his support to this initiative, the legislative delegation who has worked hard to craft the law, and all of the local stakeholders who came together to advocate for our ports. This is a positive development for business in southeastern Connecticut."

"When we invest in our transportation infrastructure, we invest in Connecticut's economy," said State Representative Tony Guerrera (D-Newington, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield), House Chair of the Transportation Committee. "Active ports yield an active economy."

"No legislation happens without collaboration, and this new law is no exception," said State Senator Andrea Stillman (D-Waterford), Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee. "In fact, it is the collaborative nature of this project that made the port authority a viable initiative and not just a widely supported concept. I want to thank everyone who helped to make this possible for New London and all of southeastern Connecticut."

"I'm particularly pleased the New London port is specifically included in this new law," said State Representative Steve Mikutel (D-Griswold), Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee. "The potential for job growth surrounding our ports expands with the entire state on the same page when it comes to maritime commerce."

"Connecticut's waterfront assets are a valuable but untapped resource, and this bill creates a path toward determining the appropriate structure, powers and functions to help make our ports successful," said State Representative David Scribner (R-Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury), Ranking Member of the Transportation and Transportation Bonding Committees. "As a self-sustaining, financially autonomous entity, the Port Authority will give us opportunities to fully utilize our waterways for industrial and other purposes."

The new Authority will be established on October 1, 2015. In the interim, the legislation charges the Department of Economic and Community Development to develop, in partnership with state agencies including the Department of Transportation (ConnDOT), Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Office of Policy and Management, a business and operating plan for the consideration of the new Authority's board as well as to make recommendations to the Governor and Assembly with respect to additional legislation that would accelerate port development. The legislation also creates a Port Authority Working Group comprised of representatives of the maritime industry, labor and the deep water port municipalities, which is charged with making recommendations for DECD to consider in the development of the business and operating plan and recommendations to the Governor and Assembly.

"Our ports are important intermodal gateways to Connecticut and New England highways and rail lines moving an array of consumer goods such as lumber, steel, salt and petroleum products," said Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker. "With a smart, coordinated marketing and promotional plan, we will be in a position to attract more business and further boost the regional economy."

"The legislation being signed today by Governor Malloy recognizes that Connecticut's ports are critical economic development assets that can be engines for economic growth," said Tim Sullivan, Director of Waterfront, Brownfield and Transit-Oriented Development for the Department of Economic and Community Development. "Under the Governor's leadership and with the partnership of the Legislature and the private sector we are confident that the creation of the Connecticut Port Authority will be an inflection point in the trajectory of our ports."

In 2011, Governor Malloy commissioned the Connecticut Deep Water Port Strategy Study to guide the development of a long-term economic development strategy for the deep water ports in Bridgeport, New Haven, and New London. The study analyzes the strengths and deficiencies of Connecticut's ports, makes recommendations to protect existing commercial operations at these ports, and identifies new opportunities for business growth. ConnDOT collaborated with several state agencies, marine and port stakeholders, and local municipalities in the development of the study.


October 2012

Connecticut Deep Water Port Strategy Study Released

The State of Connecticut commissioned an independent, market-based planning study to determine the best uses of its three deep water ports and to develop a supporting strategy to realize and enhance those best uses. Included is an excerpt from the just released Study by Moffatt & Nichol. The entire Study can be found at:


June 2012

CT Pays $477K for Port Study
Hartford Business Journal

Connecticut will shell out $477,179 for a Long Beach, Calif. firm to perform a comprehensive study of Connecticut's three deep water ports.

Long Beach port and harbor adviser Moffat & Nichol will complete the first study into the state's plan to develop an economic development strategy for the ports in New Haven, New London and Bridgeport. Hartford engineering and planning firm BETA Group, Inc. will serve as subcontractor.

The study will include an inventory of the port facilities, their accessibility, a market analysis of regions the ports can service, an economic development strategy, short- and long-term action plans, and a plan to get grants-in-aid for improvements to ports and marinas, including dredging.

The study will be complete by June 30.

"Connecticut's maritime industry is a vital piece of our State's economy, accounting for tens of thousands of good jobs," said Governor Dannel Malloy, in the announcement selecting Moffat & Nichol. "Unfortunately, without a comprehensive strategy in place, we can't know where the best chances for us to promote economic development exist. This study will change that. It will guide the State - in the short and long-term - in our effort to partner with Connecticut's ports, grow jobs, and bolster our economy."

Connecticut's maritime industries account for more than $5 billion in business within the state, 30,000 jobs and $2.7 billion in state gross domestic product, according to the Connecticut Maritime Coalition.

October 2011

State Moves Forward With Deep Water Port Economic Development Efforts

For Immediate Release: October 5, 2011

CT's Maritime Industries Account For More Than 30,000 Jobs HARTFORD, CONN. – Four state agencies – the Department of Economic and Community Development; the Department of Transportation; the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection; and the Office of Policy and Management – are working together on a long-term plan for economic development of Connecticut's deep water ports, including a focused effort at growing maritime industry jobs. Earlier this year, legislation that passed required the state to develop a strategy for economic development of the ports in New Haven, New London and Bridgeport.  Last week, the state issued a request-for-proposals (RFP) for these services, with a specific focus on generating strategic initiatives and detailed action plans it can use in developing and marketing the ports.

Based on the most recent analysis conducted by the Connecticut Maritime Coalition, Connecticut's maritime industries and related economic activity account for more than $5 billion in business output within the state – including more than 30,000 jobs – and approximately $2.7 billion in State GDP.

"We already know that our maritime industry is a large and critical component of the state's economy. What's been missing is a solid understanding of the market in which our ports operate, and a detailed strategy for how the state can best partner with and support the ports within that marketplace," said Catherine Smith, Commissioner, Department of Economic and Community Development.  "The study will use a market-based analysis to guide public and private infrastructure investments to ensure we're doing the right things, in the right order, to position Connecticut's ports for realistic opportunities and achievable outcomes."

According to the RFP, the final analysis will include: a full inventory of current port facilities; detailed profiles of transportation accessibility to the ports; a market analysis, including a list of markets or regions which can be serviced by Connecticut ports; a comprehensive strategy for economic development of the deep draft ports, including short- and long-term strategic initiatives and action plans; and, a plan for providing grants-in-aid for improvements to ports and marinas, including dredging and navigational direction.

"The study will create the picture, the plan and the strategy for the future growth of our ports and waterways," said James P. Redeker, Commissioner, Department of Transportation.  "It will help ensure that we maximize transportation assets to connect our ports to rail, airports and highways in such a way that fosters the smart transportation of people, goods and services. Relieving congestion on our highway corridors improves safety, air quality and the efficiency of Connecticut's transportation systems, which in turn helps our overall economy."

"Putting a strategy in place to make greater use of Connecticut's ports and maritime facilities makes good sense for our economy and the environment," said Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  "This approach will benefit the entire state by reducing truck traffic on the highways, efficiently moving more cargo with less fuel use and less emissions, and creating more jobs in and around updated port facilities."

"This collaboration is unique.  Four state agencies are working together in an accelerated effort, one that we envision will produce a market-based strategy for our ports as quickly as possible," said Ben Barnes, Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management.  "It demonstrates the importance of the ports to our economic growth, transportation infrastructure and environment. It also shows that the administration is serious about coordinating efforts to make Connecticut a better place to live and work."
The full RFP can be viewed here:

To download pdf click here

April 2011

The Connecticut Maritime Coalition
on NBC News April 25, 2011

NBC Connecticut news interviews Bill Gash, Executive Director of the Connecticut Maritime Coalition and Stan Mickus of Cross Sound Ferry Services about the decline in business at Connecticut's three deep-water ports due to stalled dredging and infrastructure improvements. Larger ships are taking their business to other states, resulting in millions lost in revenue.

April 2011

Conn. maritime industry seeks harbor dredging
By Stephen Singer, AP Business Writer, April 24, 2011,0,6203436.story

HARTFORD, Conn. — Traffic at Connecticut's three deep-water ports has been declining due to the weak economy and harbor-clogging sediment that the maritime industry says is driving away the largest ships.

William Gash, executive director of the Connecticut Maritime Coalition Inc., a trade group, says Providence and other nearby ports are luring business from shippers who see New Haven, Bridgeport and New London as less hospitable to ships requiring significant depth to maneuver.

"The ports of New London and Bridgeport are woefully underused," Gash said. "New London has been pretty idle. That is just terrible."

The state generates $5 billion in trade annually at the Long Island Sound commercial ports where ships deliver products including steel, road salt and fuel.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed a preliminary environmental assessment at Bridgeport Harbor and sampled and tested sediment at New Haven Harbor and found it suitable for disposal. The next stage is to dredge sediment deposited by rivers and streams into harbors and channels but those projects are several years away.

The challenge is finding the money at a time when Congress is cutting spending. Dredging the New Haven harbor, the largest in New England, would cost between $5 million and $10 million but the project is at least a few years away because federal funding is not available, said Edward O'Donnell, chief of the chief of the navigation section of the Corps in Concord, Mass.

O'Donnell said he does not know how the New Haven project would compete for financing because priorities are set in Washington "and our budget continues on a downward trend."

The funding would come entirely from Washington if the sediment is disposed of in Long Island Sound. If the Corps finds a suitable inland location, the cost of building a disposal facility would be shared with the state or local port authority.
Dredging is generally done every 10 years with the last two New Haven projects in 1994 and 2004, he said.

State transportation officials say a preliminary total needed to dredge 12 harbors and rivers in Connecticut is between $93 million and $108 million. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who made harbor improvement an issue in his campaign last year, has proposed $50 million in state bonds in the 2012 and 2013 budget years for port upgrades, including dredging.

Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., has urged Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, to spend money collected by the Harbor Maintenance Tax and Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for dredging. The fund has a balance of about $5.6 billion, he said.

Harbor dredging is an issue across the country. Great Lakes shipping companies say their industry would be hit hard by an Obama administration proposal to cut funding by one-third for dredging the region's ports and waterways. In South Carolina, some state officials have expressed disappointment that the administration has set no money aside in its budget to study deepening the Charleston Harbor shipping channel.

At the New London port, traffic measured in shipping tons has fallen from about 1.4 million in 2006 to a little more than 1 million tons in 2009, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. In Bridgeport, it's declined from 5.4 million tons to about 4.6 million tons in the same period. In New Haven, traffic has dropped from 10.9 million tons to 10.1 million.

Kelly Murphy, New Haven's economic development administrator, said the city is looking to deepen the port from 35 feet to 42 feet. The greater depth would attract larger vessels as New Haven seeks shipping of dry goods to diversify port traffic that is dominated by fuel making a stop before delivery across New England.

New Haven is participating in a study of bringing barges from the Port of New York and New Jersey that Murphy said would reduce truck traffic on the region's highways.
Bridgeport's harbor was last dredged in 1964, said Capt. Chuck Beck, transportation maritime manager at the state Department of Transportation. The harbor in New London, with key assets such as the sub base and Coast Guard Academy, is a federal responsibility, he said.

David Pohorylo, president of New England Shipping Co. in Milford, said Connecticut's ports do not have the depth to accommodate vessels as large as 600 to 800 feet.
"We really feel our deep water ports are an asset we don't want to lose by neglect," he said.

January 2011

State’s Ports Not Ready For 2014 Shipping Boom
Hartford Business Journal
By Brad Kane, 01/10/11

A massive shipping boom will explode on the East Coast in 2014 when the Panama Canal expansion is complete, and Connecticut’s three deepwater ports are not ready in the slightest. Judi Sheiffele, executive director of Port of New Haven, and William Gash, executive director of the Connecticut Maritime Coalition Inc., see better days ahead at the Port of New Haven, the busiest port in Connecticut.

The lack of a state port authority or even an agency looking out for port interests leaves Connecticut ill prepared to deal with major issues such as dredging, domestic water shipping, rail and road access, and international marketing. This leaves the state — one of only 12 in the nation with more than two deepwater ports — unable to exploit its strategic position between New York and Boston, not to mention serving its own needs for energy supply and international trade.

When Gov. Dan Malloy was campaigning for office, he proposed creating a statewide agency to coordinate the efforts of the New Haven, Bridgeport and New London deepwater ports and lobby on the national and international platforms to make Connecticut a vibrant seaport state. Vibrant ports could be a powerful economic engine generating jobs. But with the state running a $3.5 billion budget deficit, Malloy will have a difficult time bring his port plans to fruition in the next two years, particularly for multi-million port improvement projects.

“The value of having a statewide port authority is having someone to look at the big picture,” said Judi Sheiffele, executive director of the New Haven Port Authority. “It takes someone at the state level to talk to other states.”

With the right infrastructure improvements to Connecticut’s ports, the $5-billion state maritime industry could see a 50 percent increase in business by 2020, according to The Port of New Haven, Connecticut’s busiest port, lacks the channel depth and the facilities to handle container ships.the Connecticut Maritime Coalition; but without a state port authority, those improvement will be hard to come by.

In 2014, the Panama Canal Authority will complete the addition of a third lane to accommodate ships triple the size of the canal’s current capacity.

Because ocean shipping is the cheapest form of transportation, suppliers that would have delivered to America’s West Coast ports and shipped by truck or rail across country will instead travel through the canal directly to the population centers on the Gulf and East coasts. A bonus is they can avoid West Coast ports that have been plagued by problems with their labor force, said Tim Feemster, national director of global logistics for California-based Grubb & Ellis advisors.

The expectation calls for a drastic increase in the amount of vessels docking on the East Coast from China, which ships about one-third of the world’s containers. Vessels departing from the Far East to America’s East Coast already constitute the greatest percentage of vessels traveling through the Panama Canal.

To prepare for the expected doubling of trade volumes by 2020, ports along the East and Gulf coasts are upgrading their facilities to handle bigger ships. The New York/New Jersey port is spending $3 billion on its infrastructure, including adding another container terminal. The Boston port is dredging for deeper shipping channels, buying land for more storage and adding more cranes to load and unload ships faster. The Port of Providence in Rhode Island got a $10.5 million federal grant for newer cranes.

Twenty states along the East and Gulf coasts — including Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — have signed agreements with the Panama Canal Authority to make sure they are included in any marketing efforts for the expansion.

“It gives you a great deal more opportunity than you ever had before,” said Mike Leone, maritime director of the Massachusetts Port Authority.

Connecticut, meanwhile, has done nothing.

This state’s first issue is that the shipping channels are too shallow. The Bridgeport port hasn’t been dredged since 1964. New Haven was dredged in 2004, but the city port authority is calling for another dredging, this time to 42 feet to accommodate larger ships than its current 35-foot depth allows. The New London shipping channel is maintained by the U.S. Department of Defense because of the submarine base in Groton, but the local port authority was reactivated only recently and operates only as a planning agency.

Today, no Connecticut port is deep enough with adequate facilities to handle a container ship, nor is any set up to handle the larger volumes. That could change.

The New Haven port, for example, wants to reconstruct nearby Waterfront Street for better road access; expand its petroleum pipelines; and have direct rail access to the terminal. To pay for it, the port wanted to apply for federal stimulus funds under the TIGER program, but the local authority couldn’t get support from anyone on the state level, Sheiffele said.

“We have a lot of issues that we have to work through, and a state authority is certainly needed,” said William Gash, executive director of the Connecticut Maritime Coalition. “Each of our ports has its own strengths, and they can be marketed in that way.”

Among the nation’s ports, those at New Haven, Bridgeport and the shallow-water Stamford ranked Nos. 44, 72 and 142 in 2009 trade, according to the American Association of Port Authorities.

New Haven did more than 10.1 million tons in trade — making it the third busiest port in New England — compared to Bridgeport’s 4.6 million and Stamford’s 0.7 million. By comparison, Boston handled 20.5 million tons while New York/New Jersey did 144.7 million.

Without being able to accommodate container ships, the three Connecticut ports rely on processing raw materials on and off tankers. Close to 80 percent of handled cargo is petroleum, and materials such as lumber, sand, salts, scrap metal, cement, fabricated metals and food and farm products make up the other 20 percent.

Because the Connecticut ports are too shallow, large tanker ships delivering petroleum to the state can’t dock at the ports, leaving them to transfer the liquid to smaller ships or unload part of their cargo before venturing into the shallower waters. Both result in increases to the cost of heating oil and gasoline.

Having deeper ports would help bring the cost of energy down by eliminating this extra tasks, not to mention the economies of scale coming from servicing larger tankers, said Don Frost, principal at Fairfield transportation consultant D.B. Frost & Associates.

If the state dredging issue is not addressed in the next 20 years, the Connecticut Maritime Coalition estimates the state will suffer a $1.5 billion loss in business output and more than 10,000 marine-related jobs. This includes $101 million in local, state and federal tax revenues.

If tankers have to start avoiding Connecticut ports altogether, gasoline and heating oil will have to be brought into the state by truck, putting up to 1 million more trucks on I-95 annually, according to the Connecticut Maritime Coalition.

But to move from simply handling tankers to container ships means not only deeper ports but also having adequate space on the land for the containers, something all three Connecticut ports need to work on, Frost said. Connecticut also needs equipment to load and unload containers and onsite rail access with nearby road access to deliver the shipments.

When the larger container ships start passing through the Panama Canal in 2014, they will head directly to the population hubs with large ports such as Boston and New York. Ports like New Haven — if upgraded — could step in as satellite ports to service the displaced smaller vessels, Sheiffele said.

Connecticut also has the opportunity to play a vital role in the Deep Blue Highway, a marine alternative to Interstate 95. Under the proposed plan to get trucks off the I-95 corridor, containers would be placed on barges and shipped up the East Coast to ports such as Bridgeport and New Haven.

That proposal has its own issues with the cost of additional handling and the logistics over whether it is useful and timely to barge goods to Bridgeport or New Haven to put them on trucks destined for somewhere else.

“Why would you go through a Connecticut port when we are really just a pass-through state?” Frost said.

While New Haven and Bridgeport might be less than appealing for domestic waterway shipping, Frost said New London is better positioned than even the New York/New Jersey port to service eastern Long Island, and Connecticut should take greater strides to up that trade.

To get the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers to dredge Connecticut’s ports deeper and more frequently; to get adequate upgrades to the state ports’ facilities for tankers and container ships, the state needs more than just three local port authorities lobbying for attention and state and federal funding, Sheiffele said.

“We are at a perfect time in Connecticut right now to look at the bigger picture,” Sheiffele said. “Having a statewide organization looking out for our ports has to be part of that.”

December 2010

New Governor Wants DOT On A New Track
Says Overhauling Management Of Agency
Would Be Good Start

The Hartford Courant

Connecticut's highways need billions of dollars for delayed repairs, some of its public transit systems are struggling financially and the pot of money that keeps the whole operation running is almost empty.

What's a new governor to do?

Start by overhauling the management of the beleaguered Department of Transportation, Gov.–elect Dan Malloy says.

In a recent interview with The Courant, Malloy acknowledged that the state is pursuing more transportation initiatives than it has money to pay for. Hard choices are guaranteed in the legislative session ahead, said Malloy, who offered a few specific solutions:

•Upgrade deep-water ports in New London, Bridgeport and New Haven to build up cargo shipping and get tractor-trailers off the highways.

•Extend Route 11, but probably install tolls to pay for it.

•Take a hard look at whether the controversial $567 million Hartford-to-New Britain busway is really needed.

•Hire traffic professionals to design an overhaul of traffic-choked Route 1 from Greenwich to Bridgeport.

But for many of the day-to-day decisions about where to spend highway and transit dollars and where to say "no," Malloy will want guidance from an activist, high-profile chief of a Connecticut mega-bureaucracy: the Department of Transportation.

His selection of a DOT boss could come in days or months, but it's going to be a key to revamping the beleaguered department, Malloy said. The agency has a $1 billion budget, 3,300 workers and a reputation for burning through top managers. It has had five commissioners or acting commissioners since 2005.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell two years ago proposed dramatically revamping the DOT, and brought in a $170,000-a-year commissioner billed as dynamic, high-energy and committed to public transit. He quickly won praise from the DOT's long-standing critics, but quit this summer amid a subordinate's complaint of "inappropriate behavior."

And even during his tenure, the agency was dogged by an image of lethargy. Connecticut repeatedly lost out on federal transit funds, and some of the congressional delegation blamed the DOT for slow, timid work.

"You couldn't have been mayor of Stamford for 14 years without seeing how unwieldy and unfocused the DOT had become," Malloy said.

"To some extent, it has suffered from lack of involvement by some of my predecessors — they sought to isolate themselves from the problem. The DOT will get used to having a closer relationship with the governor. I'll try my management style — communicate quite clearly what needs to be done in an expeditious manner."
How soon will the next DOT chief be on board? Malloy says it could be within a week or two, or perhaps not for months.

"I'm not in a rush to fill this job. I want someone with a multimodal background, someone who has a national reputation or who can project one in a short period," he said.

Malloy's choice will also need good contacts in Washington. The new governor is looking for Connecticut to land federal aid by better coordinating its housing, transit and environmental initiatives, a strategy that's popular with the Obama administration. Lobbying for transit-oriented development money along the New Haven-to-Springfield rail line, for instance, is an obvious priority, Malloy said. Deciding the future of the busway plan is more problematic.

"We'll have to wrestle with that very quickly," he said. "Rail or light rail is a better option. If I could flip a switch and do that, I'd do that."

Connecticut is pressing for $230 million in federal aid to build the bus-only highway between New Britain and downtown Hartford, and state leaders fear that scrapping the project now would damage chances for any federal transit cash in the future. The DOT warned that the state could be forced to give back $50 million in previous federal aid if it withdraws now.

Nevertheless, the busway — first proposed in 1998 — is at least 31/2 years from opening, and Malloy is troubled that there's still deep controversy about it. One of his top transit advisers, state Sen. Donald DeFronzo, D-New Britain, accused the DOT of quietly pulling federal dollars from other Connecticut projects to bolster the busway budget.

"The DOT needs to be held accountable for what appears to be an insidious strategy," DeFronzo wrote in a memo to legislators Thursday.

Malloy said he's not ready to decide yet on the busway or other vulnerable transit operations, such as the Rocky Hill passenger ferry or Metro-North's heavily subsidized Waterbury line. But he concedes that some things will have to go: The Special Transportation Fund is projected to run a $140 million deficit between mid-2011 and mid-2014, and estimates have been steadily worsening in recent months.

At the same time, Malloy wants Connecticut to invest in its freight rail system, its deep-water ports, Metro-North's New Haven line, Shoreline East and the proposed New Haven-to-Springfield commuter line.

One way to balance those expenses with income is tolls. Proponents, like state Rep. Anthony Guerrera, co-chairman of the General Assembly's transportation committee, say Connecticut simply can't afford to let Boston-to-New York traffic tear up its highways and pay nothing toward maintenance. High-tech tolls would generate a strong, guaranteed stream of transportation money, they say.

Malloy isn't convinced. He doubts that lawmakers could craft a bill that would absolutely protect toll revenue from being raided to cover general fund shortfalls, he said.

"I won't support tolls unless I'm convinced future administrations couldn't get their hands on that money," he said.

He's also skeptical about raising the gas tax. But given the grim financial forecasts, Malloy emphasized "Those things are not off the table. Precious few things are off the table."

Early on in his administration, Malloy plans to meet with governors of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and New York to plan regional transportation strategies. He says they need to reach other agreements, too.
"Those states have also been our major economic competitors," Malloy says. "We need to change that [relationship] to one of cooperation. We have a lot of interlocking issues in this region."

February 2010

CMC's 2010 Connecticut Maritime
Economic Impact Study Published

The Maritime Industry in Connecticut is a crucial component of the State’s economic and cultural identity. Maritime commerce has played a key role in the State’s development. Now the maritime industry, with growth potential in the commercial, transportation, recreational, and naval commerce business sectors, is positioned to be one of the State’s driving economic engines into the future. The purpose of this report is to assess the contribution Maritime and related industries make to the overall State economy and to estimate the effect that dredging projects might have on the performance of Maritime Industries and consequently to the overall State economy.

In terms of economic potential, Connecticut is one of just 12 states with 3 or more of the 105 largest deepwater ports in the country, each with $100 million or more in annual foreign trade.

With its three deepwater ports, Connecticut has a natural advantage envied by surrounding states. Although Connecticut shares Long Island Sound with New York, commercially Connecticut is much more dependent on Long Island Sound for the movement of goods, fuel, and people. Over 90 percent of the shipping entering Long Island Sound will call on Connecticut’s ports. Examples of the interdependence and impact of the maritime industry are numerous.

Connecticut’s maritime-dependent industries, their suppliers and related economic activity (total direct, indirect, and induced effects) accounted for over $5 billion in business output within the State of Connecticut; more than 30,000 jobs; approximately $1.7 billion in household income; and $2.7 billion in State GDP.

As a consequence of these direct, indirect, and induced economic effects within the statewide economy, maritime industries annually account for over $56 million in taxes paid to local communities, $54 million in State tax revenues, and over $224 million in Federal tax revenues.

Wages within Connecticut’s maritime-dependent industries averaged nearly $63,000 per year per job in 2007. This average wage is 15 percent higher than the average wage of $55,000 reported for all jobs in Connecticut in 2007.

Click here to go to Executive Summary and Full Report - (Dated 5/18/10).

(If you have difficulty with above link,copy the following address into browser:)

March 2008

CMC Supports Harbor Improvement Projects Act

This bill allows the transportation commissioner to initiate harbor improvement projects on behalf of the state, or for the state on behalf of the federal government, and creates a harbor improvement account to fund these initiatives. The bill also places responsibility for contracts for harbor improvement projects with the Department of Transportation (DOT). The bill removes financial limits on state grants-in-aid to municipalities for harbor improvement projects.

The bill authorizes the transportation commissioner to initiate harbor improvement projects on behalf of the state, or for the state on behalf of the federal government. The bill specifies that harbor improvement projects include the preparation of plans, studies, and construction to alter or improve state, municipal, and other properties in or adjacent to Connecticut waters of, for the purpose of improving the state economy and infrastructure. The bill requires the Connecticut Maritime Commission to recommend and rank projects and submit them to the transportation commissioner. DOT must contract to provide goods and services to harbors and waterways for these projects, and fund these contracts. The commissioner may enter into agreements with other state agencies or municipalities to provide this funding. DOT must administer all contracts entered into. The contracts are subject to final negotiation regarding the scope and budget of the project. Under the bill, contract periods may vary by contract, payments must be made on a reimbursement basis no later than the dates of service of an executed contract, and appropriate documentation indicating that services have been rendered must be provided with payment requests. DOT may choose to release all or part of the funds as an upfront payment, provided funds are held in a non-interest-bearing account and spent no later than 60 days after it provides them.

The bill creates the harbor improvement fund, as a separate, non-lapsing account within the General Fund. The bill specifies that deposits to the account must include (1) the proceeds of notes, bonds, or other obligations issued by the state for the purpose of harbor improvement or dredging project; (2) funds appropriated by the General Assembly for harbor improvement or dredging project; (3) any other funds required or permitted by law. The commissioner must use the account to fund harbor improvement projects he or she initiated and for federal dredging projects. Funds used for the latter must (1) support, in full or in part, local or state matching requirements; (2) cover incremental costs for environmental regulatory requirements or management practices, including beneficial use; or (3) cover all of part of the costs where federal funds are inadequate. If the account is used to cover inadequate federal funds, the commissioner must pursue reimbursement from the federal government.

The bill removes two financial restrictions on the state's grants-in-aid to municipalities for harbor improvement projects: (1) a per-project cap of two thirds of the net cost of the project as approved by the commissioner and (2) a $ 1 million limit on the total allowable state funding per municipality.

February 2006

CMC Adopts State of Connecticut Maritime Policy

The State of Connecticut is committed to recapture Connecticut’s Maritime Heritage of Product and Passenger Transportation. Long Island Sound should be viewed as a huge sheet of underutilized transportation infrastructure. It could be used, as it once was, for the movement of both persons and goods. Coordinated marketing of the capacity of Connecticut’s deep-water ports to expand niche connections with cargo sources is a critical link to the Sound. The creation of inter-modal sea-land transportation hubs that enable existing and emerging coastline vehicular choke points to be bypassed will support the overall transportation strategy of the State.

Maximizing the potential of coastal traffic lanes must be accomplished within the relatively protective environs of Long Island Sound. One of the most challenging environmental issues related to port viability is maintaining accessibility; i.e., dredging and sediment management. Although the focus will be on the three deepwater ports of Bridgeport, New Haven, and New London, dredging and economic development issues apply to all ports and waterways in Connecticut.

Dredging Priorities: The degree of accessibility to Connecticut ports and waterways is controlled by the depth of the navigation channels. Most, if not all of the ports’ channels have unauthorized depth established by Congress. It is the responsibility of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) to maintain these depths. The authorized depth of a channel is commonly referred to as the controlled project depth. The ACE receives funds from Congress for specific projects. Congress does not provided the ACE with funding for all of the project needs within any specific fiscal year, thus priorities must be established.

It is the policy of the State that maintenance dredging of the channels in Connecticut ports, harbors, and waterways to the federally authorized project depth is the top maritime priority. The State can ill afford to lose existing commercial and recreational activities within its ports and harbors due to reduced channel clearance caused by naturally occurring shoaling. The highest priority is to maintain the channel depth at the State’s three largest commercial ports: Bridgeport, New Haven, and New London, but not to the exclusion of maintaining the smaller commercial and recreational ports and waterways along the coast of Connecticut. Funds for maintenance dredging must and will be aggressively sought from Congress. The State will develop and maintain a capital program as necessary and actively assist in facilitating the regulatory process for State approval of Federal maintenance dredging projects. The need for deepening existing channels will be considered in coordination with expanding economic development plans for any given port. Privately maintained channels that feed into federally supported channels are also important, particularly to the recreational use of Connecticut’s waterways. State support of these non-federally designated channels will be provided as time and money will allow.

Any dredging project requires permits and authorizations from various State and Federal agencies. A key consideration for obtaining a permit is the disposal of the sediment to be removed from the channel. Sediment management in Long Island Sound is subject to and complicated by the Federal Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, commonly known as the Ocean Dumping Act (ODA), which promulgates detailed Federal regulations for open water disposal of dredged sediments.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated the Western Long Island Sound and Central Long Island Sound dredged sediment disposal sites pursuant to the ODA. EPA needs to complete the site designation process for the Eastern Long Island Sound. However, future use of these sites for disposal is conditioned upon the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (acting in coordination with the EPA, the States of New York and Connecticut) preparing a comprehensive dredge material management plan (DMMP) for Long Island Sound. Preparation of the DMMP is crucial to the ability to maintain Connecticut's ports and waterways for two reasons: (1) EPA has put an eight-year time limit on preparation of the DMMP, and (2) many of Connecticut's ports and waterways will need to be dredged within the eight-year time period if the ports served are to remain viable.

It is the policy of the State to work with the Connecticut Congressional delegation to aggressively seek federal funds necessary for the preparation and implementation of the DMMP as well as funding for all Federal maintenance dredging projects needed in Connecticut.

It is the policy of the State to establish a long-range schedule of priorities for continued maintenance dredging for Connecticut ports, harbors, and waterways. Sedimentation rates and past maintenance dredging requirements for many waterways are well established.

Dredging projects need to be routinely scheduled based on the data and well enough in advance to obtain the necessary funding.

It is the policy of the State to compile information from all stakeholders on the need to increase the authorized project depth of any Connecticut port. The need will be primarily driven by expanding economic development and the real need to accommodate larger vessels. However, changes in technology, commercial vessel size, and factors related to safety and security will also be critical factors.

Economic development of the Connecticut ports has several important factors. Accessibility to the ports by water is the most important factor as described above. However, accessibility to the ports by land is also critical to the moving of goods and people from the waterfront to the commercial distribution system. Steps need be taken to leverage the State’s port and rail infrastructure for freight. Similarly, steps need to be taken to initiate or expand high-speed passenger ferry service on both an inter-state and intra-state basis.

It is the policy of the State to promote and support projects that will facilitate the intermodal connection of water, rail, and highway systems. Incentives will be developed and provided to encourage private-public maritime investment projects that will facilitate interstate and intrastate freight movement between hub/marshalling centers. Coordinated marketing of the capacity of Connecticut’s ports, particularly the deep-water ports to expand niche connections with cargo sources, will be conducted by the appropriate State agencies. Port-related land use policies that fully transform coastal industrial sites into inter-modal sea-land transportation hubs will be introduced. Similar marketing and land use policies will be introduced for the smaller ports and the passenger transportation system.

It is the policy of the State to promote competitive passenger movement options between high-density population centers. Persons traveling along the Sound would bypass congested highways. However, ferries operating between Connecticut ports or from Connecticut ports to New York ports need to interface with land-based modes of transportation. Like the issues of moving goods, the State will promote and support projects that will support inter-modal connection of water, rail, bus and highway systems in cooperation with the industry, utilizing public-private resources.

It is the policy of the State to promote the recreational use of Connecticut’s ports and harbors which provide additional economic benefits. Reduced access to Long Island Sound due to the shoaling of channels would have a significant impact on the State’s boating and tourist industries.

July 2005

CMC Policy Group Assist the Development
of New Maritime Commission

Connecticut Maritime Commission: Mission

The Connecticut Maritime Commission is the primary body within the State of Connecticut to develop and recommend maritime policy to the Governor and the General Assembly. It is responsible for developing and updating a long-term strategic plan for all ports and waterways in the State of Connecticut with a focus on the three deep water ports. Within its purview, the Connecticut Maritime Commission will review, recommend and develop policies as they relate to the maritime sector and Public Act No.04-143. The maritime policy will address issues concerning the maritime sector, related industries and port infrastructure (public and private).

May 2002

Connecticut’s Ports: Transportation Centers
for People and Goods

by Joan Yim, Parsons Brinkerhoff

Follow this link CMC: Stats and Studies to download Executive Summary and the complete report.

The Connecticut Maritime Coalition is a non-profit association of over 30 businesses and organizations working to facilitate the competitiveness of Connecticut’s maritime industries.  In March of 2002, the Coalition contracted with Parsons Brinckerhoff to review the numerous studies, articles and reports addressing Connecticut’s maritime cluster and to recommend actions to improve the public’s understanding of the maritime industry and its importance to the State’s transportation system.  The report’s focus is on the ports in Bridgeport, New Haven and New London. Funding for this report was made available through a grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, in partnership with the Connecticut Economic Resource Center.


  • In 1997, the maritime industry cluster accounted for 349 businesses, 12,225 jobs, with and aggregate sales of $2.61 billion;
  • In 2000, Connecticut’s ports handled 19.2 million short tons of cargo representing a 12.5% increase over the previous year; of this total, 16.6 million short tons were handled at the three major ports of Bridgeport, New Haven and New London; and
  • In a 2000 survey of ferry operators, it was determined that of the 4 major operators reporting annual figures to the Federal Highway Administration, there were over 2.1 million passenger boardings and nearly 852,000 vehicle boardings of ferries servicing Connecticut’s ports.

The report further notes that Connecticut’s three major ports are “niche” ports handling bulk products such as petroleum and sand and gravel and breakbulk cargo such as bananas and fruits.  Connecticut’s ports are found to have many of the attributes of successful niche ports and opportunities for growth are considered.

Key challenges facing the ports are identified. These include the required periodic maintenance dredging of navigation channels to support safe passage of vessels and to retain a cost-competitive advantage for the ports.  Another most pressing challenge includes the need to be prepared for Federal port security requirements that are likely to be enacted by Congress in this year.

In general, the report concludes that the three major ports, taken as a whole, provide a diversity of facilities and services, which is critical to attracting cargo, maintaining support services for vessels, expanding landside intermodal business, providing access for essential bulk materials, and supporting environmental benefits to the State.

The following table identifies the report’s key findings and recommendations.

Summary of Findings and Recommendations
The Ports of Connecticut and, in fact, the entire cluster of maritime industries, contribute to the overall economic well being of the State of Connecticut and its residents. An “umbrella” state maritime policy should be developed to set the context for growth strategies and coordinated actions to achieve them.
The Ports of Connecticut are critical links in the intermodal movement of goods and people to and from the State, within the region, and internationally as well.

The State should establish coordinating mechanisms to maximize the benefits of public and private investments in port infrastructure and intermodal systems. For example, economic development funds can be “packaged” with transportation improvement funds and environmental cleanup funds to maximize the impact of Federal funding programs.  A focused strategy for such improvements is needed.

Building upon previous studies, a pilot project to identify freight flow in the state involving all modes of transport and identifying bottlenecks would be beneficial.  The state should consider establishing freight mobility advisory groups involving shippers, carriers, and other stakeholders.  A workshop bringing together public officials, intermodal freight transportation interests, and stakeholders should be considered as part of this freight mobility planning effort.

The Ports of Connecticut are “niche” ports which have a significant number of positive attributes typically associated with successful niche ports; building on these strengths, the ports have realistic opportunities for growth through increasing tonnage of current cargo, attracting new cargo and customers, and diversifying port operations in conjunction with other ports. A market study of goods movement demand into and out of the State needs to be undertaken for a baseline planning year that will be used to identify near-term, mid-term, and long-term growth scenarios.
Those Ports of Connecticut with ferry terminals are part of an intermodal system to move people and goods, which are positioned for expansion should user demand and government policies support new locations and expanded facilities for new vessels such as high-speed ferries. An in-depth ferry system demand survey and analysis should be conducted including variables related to speed of vessels, types of services, operating schedules, and origin and destination preferences.
The Ports of Connecticut require periodic dredging to provide safe navigation channels and to support cost-competitive shipping important to the state’s economy. A “dredging task force”, led by a state agency, should be formed to identify the key issues related to dredging Connecticut’s harbors and to identify an action plan and strategy to address them, including a timetable and budget.  The effort would complement the Long Island Sound Dredged Material Management Planning process and would involve port operators, environmental groups and other stakeholders.  The action report should be prepared within a year of appointment of the task force.
The Ports of Connecticut include two critical national seaports, the controlled access port of New London/Groton and the strategically important fuel oil terminal at New Haven elevating the importance of implementing security measures at these ports.  Bridgeport is also critical to meeting the State’s need for waterborne commerce and petroleum supplies. A lead “homeland security” agency at the State level should interact with the ports and Federal agencies in assuring that all public and private terminals are prepared to comply with expected new Federal requirements.



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