By MarEx 2015-06-29 20:27:05
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined state, federal and local officials to announce the reactivation of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) in Sunset Park as a working maritime port facility on Monday.
SBMT is a key maritime asset owned by the city that will be turned into a hub for maritime commerce, creating hundreds of good jobs.
The U.S. Maritime Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation recognized SBMT’s importance by designating it and nearby Red Hook Container Terminal as part of America’s Marine Highway System, which will make cargo operations in Southwest Brooklyn eligible for future federal support.
These announcements represent key milestones in ongoing efforts to reestablish Southwest Brooklyn as a vital shipping hub, and they reflect the city’s interest in the long-term phased development of a deep water container port in New York’s harbor.
“This is a big step towards putting our waterfront back to work. Soon, cargo ships that would have docked in New Jersey will be docking here in Brooklyn, bringing good jobs, taking trucks off our streets and helping spur this growing industrial hub,” said de Blasio. “This transformation is happening because of the dogged advocacy of our congressional delegation, our partners in the City Council and our colleagues at the Port Authority, with whom we’ve worked together to bring this new port online.”
“Working alongside my dear friend and colleague, Congressswoman Nydia Velazquez, and all of the other elected officials who represent the Brooklyn waterfront, as well as key partners in labor, environmental and community organizations, I have been a passionate advocate and a supporter of the Port of New York & New Jersey for more than thirty years,” said U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler.
“As such, I view today as truly great day. I am extremely grateful to Mayor Bill de Blasio for committing his administration to the phased development of a major deep-water container port centered here at SBMT. I fundamentally believe that an active Brooklyn container port is imperative for the economic vitality, and environmental well-being, of the City and region — as well as the local community of Sunset Park — and that it is a key element in ensuring that our port district overall retains its position of dominance on the eastern seaboard of the United States.
“I also congratulate Councilman Carlos Menchaca, who negotiated a key 39-year master lease for SBMT with New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), garnering key community benefits and robust community engagement roles, while ensuring that NYCEDC can nimbly activate SBMT for good jobs as soon as possible. And finally, I’m thrilled the U.S. Maritime Administration has bestowed the American Marine Highway designation on South Brooklyn, and that it recognizes the importance of our nearby Red Hook Container Terminal, and its new barging service, as an essential part of our region’s shipping eco-system.”
“If we are to remain competitive as a region, we must address the need for additional cross-Hudson transportation capacity,” said Port Commerce Director Richard Larrabee. “This initiative is one of the many solutions to help mitigate the already limited resources used to transport cargo in the New York and New Jersey region. The barge service creates the extra benefit of reducing congestion and the port’s environmental footprint.”
The “America’s Marine Highway Program” is a federal initiative, led by the U.S. Department of Transportation, that seeks to integrate the nation’s 29,000 nautical miles of navigable waterways into the overall U.S. transportation network, alleviating highway congestion and providing public benefits including better air quality and reduced road maintenance costs.