U.S. maritime ports are among America’s most critical infrastructure. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) directly supports maritime transportation infrastructure security activities. A projected $100M is available in 2017 Port Security Grants. The deadline for submissions is tomorrow, June 22, 2017, 5PM EST.
The security at seaports cannot allow vulnerabilities that would interrupt operation within the U.S. maritime system which consists of over 300 sea and river ports with more than 3,700 cargo and passenger terminals. The United States and global economies depend on the commercial shipping industry. The need for maritime port security solutions requires the protection of the seaports themselves, the protection and inspection of the cargo moving through the ports and the protection of people working and traveling at the ports.
Effective maritime security requires risk management of the port infrastructure, as well as its users. Port facilitators are faced with an overwhelming number of travelers and high volume of trade along with the possibility of internal threats among companies and transporters. Sophisticated measures are needed to reduce the risk of shipments being compromised and to be able to quickly act on threats such as unauthorized access to a facility or perimeter, unauthorized vehicles approach, suspicious activity, network data breaches and other potentially dangerous and harmful situations at ports.
To increase their security infrastructure with the means to detect, track, and intercept threats various marine port security technology systems are being deployed today including intrusion detection, video surveillance with intelligent analytics, thermal imagery electronic and biometric access control, screening and scanning systems, perimeter intrusion detection, real-time location systems, and network security access control.
According to the DHS, the fiscal year (FY) 2017 PSGP’s allowable costs support efforts to build and sustain core capabilities across the prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery mission areas in an effort to achieve national preparedness.
Activities listed by FEMA that could be funded include:
- Strengthening governance integration.
- Enhancing strategic ports within the National Port Readiness Network.
- Enhancing Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).
- Enhancing Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive (CBRNE) prevention, protection, response and supporting recovery capabilities within the maritime domain.
- Enhancing cybersecurity.
- Implementing maritime security risk mitigation projects that support port resilience and recovery capabilities, as identified in an Area Maritime Security Plan or facility security plan.
- Implementing Transportation Worker Identification Credentials.
Maritime port security requires the ability to secure many aspects of operations, infrastructure, employees, and the public on a daily, around-the-clock basis.