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  • Federal Government  

    United States Department of Homeland Security
    The parent department of the United States Coast Guard. The Transportation Security Administration is part of the Department and maintains a separate web site, which includes a Law & Policy page with links to the relevant security statutes and regulations. 
    US Customs and Border Protection is also part of the Department and maintains considerable information on import, export and travel regulations at its site.

    United States Coast Guard (USCG)
    The Coast Guard site has a vast collection of online information and material in the maritime area. 

    USCG Districts and Units
    A guide to the various Coast Guard District Offices and Units, including Headquarters, and their individual web pages.

    USCG Marine Safety and Environmental Protection
    Home page with sitemap of the material and information available from this branch of the Coast Guard.

    USCG Navigation Center (NAVCEN)
    The NAVCEN is responsible for and provides detailed information concerning aids to navigation (GPS, Loran, Local Notices to Mariners, etc.).

    USCG Port State Control
    The Port State Control site includes the Port State Information Exchange database containing vessel specific information. 

    USCG Marine Safety Regulatory Home Page
    A staring point for finding Federal regulations affecting commercial vessel safety, port safety and security, and marine safety and environmental protection.

    USCG Office of Investigations & Analysis
    The office responsible for investigating marine casualties.

    USCG Office of Vessel Traffic Management
    Primary concern is navigational safety and the Inland and International Navigation Rules (COLREGS), which are available for downloading.

    USCG Marine Safety Manual
    The basic Manual for Coast Guard personnel in carrying out their responsibilities in areas under Coast Guard regulatuion. An excellent source of information on the relevant regulations and procedures.  

    USCG Marine Safety Newsletter
    Available in .pdf format.

    Online collection of Coast Guard Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars (NVICs) that provide guidance on compliance with various Federal maritime regulations.

    USCG Marine Safety Council Proceedings
    The Coast Guard Journal of Safety at Sea in .pdf format.

    POISE (Port Operations Information for Safety & Efficiency) contains port-related links to websites created by government agencies, port authorities, marine exchanges, etc. throughout the United States.

    USCG Publications, Reports, Studies and Forms
    Index page to the Coast Guard and related publications available online. Includes the most common forms used in the vessel documentation process.

    USCG National Vessel Documentation Center
    Information and forms on documenting US flagged vessels. 

    USCG STCW Implementation Site
    Concerns the Coast Guard's implementation of the Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (London 1978).

    USCG Chief Administrative Law Judge
    Decisions of the Commandant re: merchant mariner violations.

    USCG Drug and Alcohol Program Inspectors
    Includes information and regulations on the Coast Guard's program to test mariners for drug and alcohol abuse.

    USCG National Pollution Funds Center
    The site includes the Certificate of Financial Responsibility (COFR) Vessel Information Database. A vessel over 300 gross tons may not lawfully operate in the navigable waters of the U.S. without a valid COFR, which is a certificate of financial ability to pay for oil pollution damages.

    USCG Vessel Response Plan (VRP) Home Page
    Information concerning the Vessel Response Plan requirement under OPA 1990 for oil tankers.

    USCG Oil Spill Response Information
    The statutes, regulations, plans and agreements concerning oil spill response.

    United States Department of Transportation (DOT)
    Along with the Maritime Administration, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation is part of the Department. See also the Department's site devoted to the transportation of hazardous or dangerous materials, which includes information on the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. 

    Maritime Administration (MARAD)
    In the words of MARAD, its mission is "to promote the development and maintenance of an adequate, well-balanced, United States merchant marine, sufficient to carry the Nation's domestic waterborne commerce and a substantial portion of its waterborne foreign commerce, and capable of serving as a naval and military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency." 

    Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)
    FMC was established in 1961 and is responsible for the regulation of shipping in the foreign trade of the United States. The Commission investigates discriminatory rates and practices of ocean carriers; receives and monitors agreements among carriers; maintains electronic tariff filings; regulates tariffs of carriers controlled by foreign governments; licenses U.S. based freight forwarders; requires bonds of non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCC); and issues passenger vessel certificates of financial responsibility.

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    EPA has thousands of Agency publications available online. The EPA Oil Spill Program is responsible for preventing and responding to oil spills in the inland waters. The applicable laws and regulations are linked and an overview of OPA 1990 is provided. EPA's Laws & Regulations page provides links to the major environmental laws and summaries of those laws.

    U.S. National Response Team
    The National Response Team (NRT) and the Regional Response Teams are the federal component of the National Response System, which responds to emergency discharges of oil and releases of chemicals. The NRT is chaired by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) serves as Vice Chair.

    National Response Center
    The primary function of the National Response Center is to serve as the sole national point of contact for reporting all oil, chemical, radiological, biological, and etiological discharges into the environment anywhere in the United States and its territories.

    National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
    The Board, which investigates significant marine accidents, maintains a Marine page and online reports of marine casualties downloadable in .pdf format.

    United States Department of Commerce
    The International Trade Administration is a branch of the Department. (See also the International Trade Commission, which is an independent governmental agency.)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) NOAA conducts ocean surveys and produces nautical charts. The site has a significant amount of information on nautical chart making and hydrography.  NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS) is involved with coastal and ocean management. NOAA's Damage Assessment and Restoration Program (DARP) conducts assessments of oil spills, groundings and hazmat releases. See also the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the National Data Buoy Center.
    United States Department of Defense (DOD)
    DOD's home page. A directory of DOD agency individual web sites is provided.
    United States Navy
    A directory of Navy Web Sites is here. See the Navy Judge Advocate General's (JAG) site, which has an Admiralty and Maritime Law Division. The Military Sealift Command (MSC) is responsible for the ocean transportation of military supplies and maintains an online inventory of MSC ships. The Navy's Supervisor of Salvage and Diving is involved in salvage efforts and handling salvage claims through its Admiralty Attorney. See also the United States Naval Academy and the Naval Vessel Register (an inventory of US Naval vessels.)

    National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA)
    DOD agency (formerly the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, which was the former Defense Mapping Agency) that produces nautical charts for use by the military and sale to the general public.

    United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
    The Corps is responsible for maintaining navigation channels. The extensive site maintains the Navigation Data Center, with much online information on waterborne commerce, vessel characteristics, port facilities, dredging information, lock characteristics and lock performance. An online repository of all official USACE  regulations, circulars, manuals and related documents is also available.

    United States Department of Justice
    Relevant sections include:

    - Torts Branch, Civil Division (Admiralty claims)

    United States Department of Labor
    The Department maintains a Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation page with links to various resources. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintains a dedicated Maritime page and related information.

    United States Department of State
    Relevant sections include:

    - Judicial Assistance Information (litigating abroad)

    - Bureau of Oceans and Intl Environmental & Scientific Affairs

    - List of Treaties in Force

    - Private International Law

    - Office of the Legal Advisor

    - Electronic Research Collection

    - Country Background Notes

    United States Department of the Treasury
    See also the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is responsible for U.S. trade and economic sanctions.

    United States Senate
    United States House of Representatives
    Relevant committees include the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The THOMAS service of the Library of Congress provides exhaustive information on the legislative activity of the House and Senate.  See also the United States Library of Congress site.

    United States Commission on Ocean Policy
    The 16-member Commission is undertaking an 18-month study and will make recommendations to the President and Congress on a national ocean policy. 

    General Accountability Office (GAO)
    The General Accounting Office is the investigative arm of Congress. GAO's mission is to help the Congress oversee federal programs and operations.
    This is the primary portal for finding government web sites and other government information on the internet. It is touted as "the first-ever government website to provide the public with easy, one-stop access to all online U.S. Federal Government resources."

    Federal Government Agencies Directory 
    A directory of agencies on the internet maintained by Louisiana State University (LSU) in cooperation with the Federal Government.

    Government Printing Office (GPO) Finding Aid
    GPO site for finding government web sites and online documents.  See also the GPO Database of government documents, laws and regulations and the GPO Government Information Locator Service (GILS).
    The FedWorld Information Network is a comprehensive access point for searching, locating, ordering and acquiring government information.
    State Governments

    FindLaw - State Resources
    This is FindLaw's state resources page, including laws and web sites. The Library of Congress' State and Local Government resource page is also an exceptional source. And see the state government pages of the following directories:

    - Cornell

    - State and Local Governments on the Net

    Secretaries of State
    National Association of Secretaries of State. A locator of the web sites of the various state Secretaries of State, most of which are responsible for corporate registration and records.

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