Florida congressman Brian Mast, R-Fla., has been named to replace Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

Mast was named by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., to assume the chairman position. Duncan, a longtime member representing the San Diego area, is under indictment for misuse of campaign funds.

Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., was named chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Merchant Marine.

Mast, a decorated Army veteran, served more than 12 years and was wounded in Afghanistan. He represents Florida’s 18th congressional district in north Palm Beach County.

The subcommittee has been making a bipartisan push to secure adequate funding for building a new class of heavy icebreakers for the Coast Guard, and advocated for more funding after members headed off potential budget cuts in the early days of the Trump administration.

“Maritime transportation is a critical issue for Florida and the Coast Guard has an important presence in our state, which is why I asked Chairman Bill Shuster for the opportunity to take on leadership of this subcommittee,” Mast said in a prepared statement.

“The Coast Guard plays an essential role in maintaining the rule of law on our waterways, including securing our borders and enforcing marine pollution laws.  Working together, I’m confident we can ensure they have the tools they need to succeed at these critical missions.”

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.