Student Research

Maritime Port Security: Preventing Terrorist Attacks in America

The premise behind this project is to analyze U.S. maritime security after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 by analyzing key legislative acts, the United States Coast Guard, the Customs and Borders Protection agency, and key maritime security initiatives deployed by them. The National Strategy for Maritime Security primarily sets the foundation for a collaborative effort towards the overall protection of U.S. ports, the maritime domain, and the international supply chain. Focusing on the International Ship and Port Security Code (ISPS), Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA), Security and Accountability for Every Port Act (SAFE Port Act), and the agencies mandated by them, this paper will introduce the legislation and how they were written to support the greater vision of the National Strategy for Maritime Security. While the U.S. maritime sector is safer today than it was prior to 9/11, there are still needed improvements on existing legislation and agency execution. Finally, the project will aim to point out existing deficiencies and propose new ways to strengthen the maritime domain and prevent a future terrorist attack in the United States.

A capstone project submitted to the faculty of the California Maritime Academy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Transportation and Engineering Management.