Developments For Securing The Nation's Ports

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Developments in securing the nation’s ports have occurred since September 11, 2001: According to American Association of Ports Authorities (n. d) the United States is served by some 360 commercial ports that provide approximately 3,200 cargo and passenger handling facilities and there are more than 150 deep draft seaports under the jurisdiction of 126 public seaport agencies located along the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf and Great Lakes coasts, as well as in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Transportation Security Administration (2010), broaden the definition of” the maritime sector to include a wide range of watercraft and vessels and consists of approximately 95,000 miles of coastline, 361 ports, more than 10,000 miles of navigable waterways, 3.4 million square miles of the Exclusive Economic Zone, and intermodal landside connections, which allow the various modes of transportation to move people and goods to, from, and on the water”. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attack brings to attention the vulnerability to terrorist attack on the U.S. ports and the ships in them. As a result of the attack, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in 2002 with primary responsibilities of securing the United States homeland and responding to increasing threats emanating from both nature and humans. While “preventing terrorist attacks remains the primary focus of the Department of Homeland Security”, the agency lead other 22 Federal Agencies,
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