Office of Coast Survey
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

May 10, 2017

Hello Coast Survey,
Heather Gilbert is picking up the pen this week to share information on the CMTS.


Coast Survey,

It is great to be back with the Office of Coast Survey, and I am especially honored to be able to serve as the NOAA CMTS Policy Advisor, taking over a role that Gary Magnuson held for over ten years. (Talk about big shoes to fill.)

The CMTS is the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System, a President-directed, cabinet-level interagency partnership chaired and based out of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The CMTS was established in 2005 to bring together the 29+ federal agencies that play a role in the Marine Transportation System. The committee, which NOAA is represented by RDML Smith, works to improve federal MTS coordination and policies, develop outcome-based goals for the MTS, integrate marine transportation with other modes and other ocean uses, as well as recommend strategies and plans to maintain and improve the MTS. My job as the NOAA policy advisor to the committee, is to support the executive secretariat staff, which is led by Director Ms. Helen Brohl and Deputy Director Ms. Pat Mutschler, and ensure NOAA’s interests are represented. In addition, I support the CMTS Future of Navigation Integrated Action Team, and the Maritime Security and Maritime Transportation Extreme Weather Task teams.

Why the CMTS, you ask? Air Transportation System – Federal Aviation Administration; Highway Transportation System – Federal Highway Administration; Rail Transportation System - Federal Railway Administration; 29+ Federal Agencies dealing with the Marine Transportation System – hence the CMTS.

Okay, so how can you learn more about the CMTS? You can visit the CMTS website to learn about the integrated action teams that focus on varying aspects of the MTS. Or check out the activities we have next week in support of National Infrastructure Week. The CMTS is hosting two events (available in person or live streaming), with a “Ted-like” talks on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, from 1:00-3:00 pm EDT titled "Maritime Infrastructure Needs of the Nation” and then on Friday, May 19, 2017, from 10:00 am-12:00 noon EDT a roundtable discussion on water infrastructure.

Heather Gilbert
NOAA CMTS Policy Advisor