Safety management systems and the impact of offshore wind power on marine traffic are on the agenda for the 18th annual Towing Industry Forum, to be hosted March 14 by the State University of New York Maritime College.

The conference, organized by the college Department of Professional Education and Training, will be held from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Maritime Academic Center at the SUNY Maritime campus in Throgs Neck, N.Y.

At the conclusion of the conference sessions, participants can check out the Tug and Barge Simulation Center, a virtual reality training facility supported by the Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc., Melville, N.Y.

“The tug-barge industry is a vital component of the marine traffic in the Port of New York and New Jersey,” said Capt. Eric Johansson, founder of the conference and professor of professional education and training.

“Yet as an industry we must be flexible as the volume of marine traffic increases and as we look to our waterways to supply energy through wind farms. This conference has been planned with these modern questions in mind.”

Topics include a federal study on route planning and access to East Coast ports, and the prospect of large offshore wind energy farms being built in the New York Bight, where New York and New Jersey state energy planners propose to have hundreds of turbines by 2030.

The conference features presentations by the American Bureau of Shipping, the Coast Guard Sector New York, the American P&I Club, the National Transportation Safety Board’s Office of Marine Safety, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. A full conference agenda is posted at the SUNY Maritime website along with an online registration form. 


Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.