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NAMEPA’s Annual Marine Environment Protection Conference and Awards Agenda Released Ahead of Event – Maritime’s Pathway to 2050 is Focus

WESTON, CT – October 30, 2023: Carleen Lyden Walker, Co-Founder and CEO, released the agenda details for the North American Marine Environment Protection Association’s (NAMEPA) Annual Marine Environment Protection Conference and Awards Event, taking place at SUNY Maritime College this Thursday, November 2, 2023. This conference brings together key members of the maritime industry to focus on “Maritime’s Pathway to 2050,” which will celebrate taking steps towards the UN’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 80 goal for decarbonization, as well as workforce development challenges and opportunities.

SUNY Maritime College President, RADM Michael Alfultis, will deliver NAMEPA’s Opening Keynote. Walker commends Michael Alfultis’ work at SUNY, stating, “[Alfultis] successfully navigated the choppy U.S. government waters to achieve the successful National Security Multi-Mission Vessel program with the first ship, the Empire State VII, delivered to Maritime College.” There will be an exclusive tour of this ship prior to the NAMEPA event, where conference attendees will get the chance to explore the ship, guided by a cadet, and tour the ship’s advanced training facilities.

CAPT Dan Cost, P.E. Chief, Office of Design and Engineering Standards at the United States Coast Guard (USCG), will follow the keynote by reporting on how the USCG is planning for decarbonization, new fuels, digitalization and associated cyber risks, licensing updates, and recruitment in the coming years.

The Annual Conference’s first panel, “Ships and Fuels of the Future,” is led by Cargill’s Jan-Willem van den Dijssel with presentations that will cover U.S. regulatory efforts on decarbonization by Dana Merkel of Blank Rome and an overview current and future fuel options by DNV’s Jan Hagen Andersen. To conclude, Cynthia Hudson of HudsonAnalytix will provide an analysis on both the risks and rewards of emerging technologies.

The Future Mariner Workshop marks the second portion of the Annual Conference. Led by Doug Martin of SMIT and featuring SUNY Maritime College’s RADM Francis Pelkowski, NAMEPA’s Molly Dushay, The Pasha Group’s Kai Martin and SUNY Cadet Rushawn Henry, presenters will identify what we need to recruit and retain new employees of the maritime industry to minimize “the mariner shortfall” projected to reach 86,000 by 2026.

A Leadership Roundtable concludes the conference segment, showcasing select recipients of NAMEPA’s 2023 Marine Environment Protection Awards. Confirmed recipients include Rick Sasso, President and CEO of MSC Cruises (US), Brian Murray with TOTE Services, and New York Harbor Middle School Principal, Priscilla Figueroa.

Following NAMEPA’s Annual Conference will be NAMEPA AGM, Awards Reception and Dinner to finish out the event. View more details, here. REGISTER NOW!


The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) is a marine industry-led organization of environmental stewards preserving the marine environment by promoting sustainable marine industry best practices and educating seafarers, students and the public about the need and strategies for protecting global ocean, lake and river resources. Visit us at:

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