August 23, 2011

Whitehouse Hears from Marine Industry Leaders about Economy

2011.08.23 Seafood Town Dock Small Business JobsNewport, RI – Today, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse held a roundtable discussion in Newport about the issues facing our boat builders, marinas, and marine equipment manufacturers and suppliers in this tough economy. Whitehouse teamed with the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association to hear from marine industry leaders on what they need to succeed and grow. Governor Lincoln Chafee also participated in the discussion.

“The marine trades industries are a significant source of jobs in Rhode Island, especially here in the East Bay,” said Whitehouse. “Hearing from these industry leaders today about the challenges they face will help me as I fight for policies in Washington that will help them grow and create more jobs.”

The meeting featured presentations from the International Trade Administration, the Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Service, and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

In the Senate, Whitehouse is fighting for legislation to establish a National Endowment for the Oceans in order to protect and preserve the natural resources on which these industries depend. The bipartisan legislation, which Whitehouse introduced in May along with Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), would provide steady funding to universities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to support ocean research and restoration projects. Whitehouse is also working to form a Senate Oceans Caucus which would work together on issues of importance to the oceans and coastal economies.

Last week, Whitehouse joined U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Governor Chafee, and the state’s congressional delegation to announce the next steps toward development of commercial wind energy off the shores of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. This project could provide a significant economic boost to the marine trades.


Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921