Artic Vessel Activity Projection Study

The Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) is a U.S. cabinet-level interagency committee tasked to coordinate U.S. marine transportation policy.

2014.12.02 - Artic Vessel Activity Projection Study

The White House released the Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for the Arctic Region in January 2014,  The Implementation Plan is designed to guide the activities and require the action of Federal Departments and agencies toprotect U.S. national and homeland security interests, promote responsible stewardship, and foster international cooperation in the Arctic.

As part of the implementation plan of the NSAR, the CMTS was directed to complete three Arctic marine transportation- related actions. The first of these actions – due by the end of 2014 – is to complete a 10-year projection of maritime activity in the U.S. Arctic region. CMTS’s Arctic Vessel Activity Projection Study is due to the White House National Security Staff in December 2014.

CMTS is requesting recommendations from the public regarding the diverse variables impacting growth of vessel activity in the Arctic over the next 10 years.

CMTS Webinar 11/6/14

On 11/6/14, CMTS hosted a webinar to facilitate public comment regarding their Arctic Vessel Activity Projection Study.  Specifically CMTS requested information regarding:

  • Shipping Forecasts
  • New carrier plans to use Arctic transportation routes
  • Oil and gas exploration/development plans
  • Mining activities
  • Fisheries – both commercial and/or subsistence
  • Community expansion/growth influencing supply forecasting
  • Projected increases in Arctic tourism
  • Other information regarding future growth of Arctic activity including studies and scientific literature.

CMTS requested commenters use 3 optional formats for submission of comments.

Option 1: Anticipated numbers associated with a region or activity


  • Exploratory drilling at specified location supported by X number of vessels
  • Anticipated increase in community re-supply: additional trips for X months; or additional X vessels
  • No anticipated growth from X sector

Option 2: Anecdotal/historical data


  • The last offshore drilling project used X vessels over Y time period
  • The general population increased by X and we needed to increase supply trips accordingly
  • Observed differences in locations of vessels in different years.
  • Observed differences in fisheries, mammals, sea birds during years of different activity

Option 3: Experience-based views


  • Where the largest contributors might be
  • Where there is little probability for contributions to growth in the next decade
  • Areas of conflicting use that may delay growth
  • Logistical and technological issues that would delay growth

CMTS is also requesting comments on:

  • Gaps in data availability
  • Other variables for consideration

Article was originally posted on Culhane Medows PLLC

Photo credits to US Navy MSC

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