On behalf of Harbor Safety Committees (HSCs) nationwide, the Chicago Harbor Safety Committee is pleased to host the 19th Biennial National Harbor Safety Committee Conference, which will be held 20-21 March 2024 at Chicago’s own Navy Pier. This event continues to be one of the premier gatherings of waterways stakeholders from the private sector, government agencies, and academia. The robust conference program has been developed in cooperation with harbor safety committee representatives, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and includes keynote addresses from high-ranking government officials, presentation of the annual Distinguished Harbor Safety Committee Award, and a collection of panel sessions thoughtfully designed to highlight cases where HSCs have made a tangible impact within their local waterway to inspire action and share lessons learned. The conference also provides a vital forum for networking among waterways stakeholders and service providers from across the nation.
Many of the panel sessions are designed to be highly interactive, allowing an ongoing conversation between the presenters and attendees, to capitalize on the collective experience of the assembly and maximize idea generation. The topics chosen are solution driven and include federal agency perspectives, HSC management best practices, challenges and solutions for managing a congested waterway, emergency response, sharing information to reduce waterway incidents, the future of navigation safety, and environmental challenges and impacts to vessel safety
HSCs are key enablers of the national Marine Transportation System, supporting our domestic and global supply chain and, consequently, America’s economic and national security. Membership is typically comprised of representatives of government agencies, maritime labor and industry organizations, environmental groups, and other public interest groups, to the extent they are active in a particular port. Through their ability to convene a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss local issues and recommend mitigating strategies, HSCs provide a tremendous service to the nation – ensuring the safe, efficient, and environmentally sound operation of our ports and waterways.
This two-day event enables HSCs from all parts of the nation to come together to share best practices, discuss policy and regulatory issues, highlight solutions, dialogue with government agencies, and form relationships that enable a robust transfer of ideas in between gatherings. The conference typically draws between 200-300 maritime professionals from throughout North America. Among federal participants, the conference typically draws significant presence from the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as personnel from the USACE, MARAD, and NOAA.