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News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, October 18, 2012
MMA awarded $393,000 from disposal of obsolete vessels
Funds to go towards mariner training

The tugboat Pentagöet

The tugboat Pentagöet is one of three major training vessels used by Maine Maritime Academy to teach its students.

Photo by Anne Berleant Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Anne Berleant

Maine Maritime Academy has received a grant of $392,913 from the U.S. Department of Transportation to be used for mariner training.

The funds came from the disposal of obsolete vessels at the National Defense Reserve Fleet anchorages, and are part of $2.3 million the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration is providing to the country’s six state maritime academies, according to a press release.

Of the profit made from the disposed vessels’ scrap steel, 25 percent must be distributed to maritime academies, as required by the National Maritime Heritage Act.

Enacted in 1994, the Act states those funds be used “for facility and training ship maintenance, repair and modernization, and for the purchase of simulators and fuel,” which covers a host of possibilities for MMA, including being used toward the proposed ABS Building of Applied Engineering.

“We will provide the board with the information of the gift, [which] will make a specific determination at its next quarterly meeting,” said Mike Whetston, Director of Public Affairs for MMA.

The Board of Trustees next meets on November 9 at the academy.