California creates Maritime Security Council

Published 16 October 2006

Comprised of federal, state, and local officials, as well as business and union interests, the council will help coordinate recovery and communications efforts; with $4.5 billion in annual cargo, state is extremely vulnerable to economic disruption

Perhaps responding to the state’s recent ill-treatment in the DHS budgeting process for port security, California has created a Maritime Security Council (CMSC) to aid in coordination and information sharing between federal, state, and munipal law enforcement authorities. More than $4.5 billion in cargo moves through the state annually, and its ports, including Long Beach and Oakland, are among the largest in the country, and recent reports by the RAND Corporation and the Public Policy Institute of California have emphasized the devastating economic effect of an attack or disruption along the shoreline.

The CMSC will be comprised of top officials from the state’s Office of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard, U.S. Navy and other agencies as well as directors of California’s major ports and representatives from the labor and business communities. Among the council’s responsibilities will be to coordinate contingency planning and information sharing; conduct training exercises; develop a statewide maritime security strategy; and prepare to quickly recover from a catastrophic event at a California port. No additional costs are anticipated.

-read more in this state news release