WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., the Ranking Member on the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today received the Maritime Champion Award for 2021 from the National Association of Waterfront Employers (NAWE). The award is given annually to members of Congress who go above and beyond in their pursuit of strengthening the shipbuilding industry and maritime economy.
“I am grateful to the National Association of Waterfront Employees for their commitment to America’s maritime industry, which is an important sector of the Mississippi economy,” Wicker said. “I am glad to accept the Maritime Champion award, and I will continue working to address the needs of ports and waterways, both in Mississippi and across the country.”
Industry leaders praised Wicker for his work on behalf of maritime issues. Lauren Brand, the president of NAWE, touted Wicker’s consistent leadership in the field.
“We are honored to present this award to Senator Roger Wicker as he and his team have first-hand knowledge of the needs of smaller inland terminals such as Itawamba, Miss., as well as larger coastal terminals such as those at Gulfport, Miss.,” Brand said. “This is evident in their leadership addressing maritime-related issues.”
During his previous tenure as chairman and in his current role as ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, Wicker has worked at the vanguard of efforts to revitalize America’s maritime economy. NAWE cited Wicker’s work on reauthorizing the Marine Highways Program and introducing the Maritime Technological Advancement Act. Both acts improve maritime infrastructure and assist industry workers through targeted investment in shipyard improvements, skill development, and maritime scientific research.
"Senator Wicker has strongly supported Mississippi's waterfront workers throughout his career," said Ports America CEO Mark Montgomery, a NAWE member. "His leadership on much-needed infrastructure improvements such as on-dock rail at the Port of Gulfport has significantly benefited local and state businesses. Ports America is grateful to have a maritime supply chain champion who continues to advocate for Mississippi's blue economy."