The grant is part of the new Assistance to Small Shipyards program which was authorized by Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, and funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008.
"Small shipyards are vitally important for the health of the maritime industry, and for the economy of the nation," said Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton.
The purpose of the grants is to make capital and infrastructure improvements that facilitate the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and quality of domestic ship construction, conversion or repair for commercial and federal government use in maritime communities. The grants cover a maximum of 75 percent of the estimated cost of improvements. The recipients, all small businesses, are responsible for the remainder of the cost.
The Maritime Administration is the agency in the Department of Transportation dealing with waterborne transportation. Its mission is to improve and strengthen the U.S. marine transportation system, including infrastructure, industry and labor, to meet the economic and security needs of the United States.