The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration Thursday announced the availability of $9.5 million in grant funding for the America’s Marine Highway Program (AMHP).

“Marine highways are an efficient and cost-effective option for moving freight and passengers in America,” Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a statement announcing the grant opportunity.

The AMHP supports the increased use of the nation’s navigable waterways to relieve landside congestion, provides new and efficient transportation options, and increases the productivity of the surface transportation system. By working closely with public and private organizations, the AMHP is also able to create and sustain U.S. jobs in U.S. ports, vessels, and shipyards.

“Our country has 12,000 miles of navigable inland waterways,” said Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby. “By continuing to invest in them, we are investing in the continued success of our nation’s economy.”

Eligible projects for grant awards are marine highway projects previously designated by the secretary of transportation.

Applications for the grants are due by 5:00 p.m. EDT on April 10, 2020. Additional information is available in the Federal Register or by contacting Fred Jones, Office of Ports and Waterways Planning, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590, 202-366-1123, or [email protected].