St. Thomas waterfront By VIATOR
The Virgin Islands Port Authority announced this week that it has been awarded the National Project Designation by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD). "With this designation, the U.S. Virgin Islands is now included in the United States’ federal marine highway system. The USVI has been designated as M-V1, M-95, and M-2," VIPA said.
VIPA said it applied for the designation to allow the territory to qualify for additional grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation and MARAD that are only available for ports under this classification.
Other benefits of this designation include:
VIPA said the marine highway system currently includes 25 "Marine Highway routes" that serve as extensions of the surface transportation system. Each all-water route is designated by the Transportation secretary and offers relief to landside corridors suffering from traffic congestion, excessive air emissions, or other environmental challenges. Other U.S. territories awarded this designation include Puerto Rico and American Samoa.