Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Congressman Graves seeks Congressional support for STORIS Act

Congressman Garret Graves of Louisiana, sponsor of the STORIS Act in the House of Representatives, has sent out a letter seeking support for the legislation. In it, the illegal nature of STORIS' export is acknowledged, as well as the support for the legislation by STORIS veterans. Interested in writing a letter of support, email with your Zip Code+4 and you will receive a customized template with your legislators' names and contact emails. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Brownsville Herald: Maritime mystery - Legislation seeks answers to government’s use of payments

The Brownsville Herald newspaper of Brownsville, Texas, has published a story about the STORIS Act legislation.

I am still working with STORIS vets to put together support for the legislation and have received several terrific letters. Congress goes on vacation starting next weekend and won't return to session until after Labor Day. We won't have many opportunities to air our grievances related to the ship's destruction, so I certainly encourage everyone to get on board with this effort. Email me at and send me your Zip+4 Postal Code and I'll send you a customized template with your legislator's contact information to help make the process as easy as possible.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Op-Ed: Where did the Maritime Heritage Grant money go? P3

Maritime Executive has published the third op-ed piece related to the STORIS Act, written by K. Denise Rucker Krepp, a representative of the domestic ship recycling industry and former chief counsel for the U.S. Maritime Administration.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Op-Ed: Where did the Maritime Heritage Grant money go? P2

Maritime Executive has published the second of a multi-part op-ed piece on the STORIS Act. The next installments will specifically address STORIS herself and the issues surrounding her illegal export.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

GSA releases more documents; reveals more Federal Laws broken, foreign money involved

A very significant release from GSA. Please read this.

This release contains correspondence involving the STORIS Museum and GSA as well as correspondence and documentation between the buyer, Mark Jurisich of US Metals Recovery, and GSA. There are a lot of new twists in this paperwork and some new questions of a legal nature.

Page 67 is particularly revealing, as Jurisich complains of the problems he is having because of STORIS Museum and the ship’s historic designation. No one in the Bay area wants to help him because they don’t want to have blood on their hands. The GLACIER fiasco probably played into that…but so did his attempts at leasing space in the Bay area to cut the ship with untrained, illegal immigrants as we were told by reliable sources.

We’ve also discovered that there was foreign money involved in the purchase of the ship. The buyer speaks of a foreign wire transfer, but no identification of where the money came from. Federal Laws require identification of funding for foreign wires greater than $10,000.

Again, this documentation is significant and will hopefully help lead to some serious investigation of the GSA activities with STORIS. The Federal Laws broken with the sale of the ship are stacking up.

The language of the STORIS Act and the audit in the legislation would encompass the ship sale activities with GSA as it relates to MARAD. We need the legislation to pass. Read these documents then constructively vent your disgust and frustration with what was allowed to happen by writing your legislator to get the STORIS Act passed as S 1511 in the Senate and HR 2876 in the House.

The cover letter is here:

The GSA documents are here:

P1- Correspondence from Jim Lukasiewicz, Sea Cadet contact referring to the two-year period that we were initially told it would take to acquire STORIS. Also note reference to GSA personnel calling STORIS a vessel, as she was larger than a “boat.”
P6- Bob King inquiry from Sen. Mark Begich’s office. GSA notes Mark Jurisich is high bidder, below reserve, GSA awarding ship in “best interests” of government.

P16- GSA conducted auction on Coast Guard’s behalf (illegally because of 40 USC 548, which mandates that MARAD disposes of vessels in excess of 1,500 tons. STORIS displaced 1,730.)

P18- Certificate of Financial Responsibility (for pollution abatement insurance in event of release) issued to US Metals

P19- Discussion from USCG about ship leaving the country - Kristina.N.Williams from the U.S. Coast Guard. Problem is, the ship should not have legally been allowed to leave the country for scrapping purposes.

P25- "Tonya Dillard - 4QSCA<>
To: ""<>
Thank you for the update
Enjoy the vessel"      Seriously? GSA knew he was scrapping her.       

P28 – Discussion between Jurisich and Dillard re: Commander Marsh from DOD and discussion of delivery of towing bridle for installation on ship – Addl discussion from Dillard about DOD being involved as far as moving the ship out of the country. Because STORIS was a military vessel, the State Department and Department of Defense had to be involved in authorizing export of the ship. This automatically should have prevented the ship’s export because under Section 3502 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of 2009, it is illegal to export US Government ships for foreign scrapping unless there is a compelling reason, no domestic means to do so, extenuating circumstances are involved and strict guidelines are met. That would not apply in STORIS’ case. The export was illegal as hell.

P29- towing certificate from CG (loadline exemption)

P30-33 Discussion of export license for STORIS through DOD

P34- Oct 15 deadline to move the ship; movement within US not require clearance from DOD – extensions of deadline costly to government per GSA’s Dillard. Ship wasn’t moved until Oct. 25.

P36- State Dept gives permission to move vessel

P38- Jurisich: can’t move vessel of STORIS’ size without lead time, says CG paid for MARAD storage until end of year (this is not true, as should be end of FISCAL year which would have been Sept 30. This is confirmed later in documents.) No indication who paid for the extra three+ weeks of storage at Suisun Bay.

P39- hard deadline from GSA to move by Oct 15 (message stream in reverse chronology)

P40- Jurisich complaining he can’t move ship under short notice and he and Dillard of GSA are being put under pressure, that they are not responsible for government shutdown

P50 – Another message stream re removal of ship-  Jurisich: shutdown is causing delay, need State Dept authorization to move ship

P55- Jurisich: under pressure from “our people” to get the boat moving. Reminded every day paid for ship three months ago. Who are “our people?”

P56- Dillard: Must be moved no later than Oct 31-  copied to Jeff Beach of CG and Jeff Siragusa of MARAD. Remember, Jeff Siragusa is the former Barletta scrapyard executive from Baltimore that walked away from scrapping operations on the East Coast, leaving MARAD holding the bag with two partially scrapped ships in Baltimore that were floating haz-mat disasters waiting to happen. Yet MARAD turned around and hired him.

P64- Must work with a nongovernmental agency to move ship to alternate domestic location

P67- Jurisich asking about export restrictions from GSA and Beach, told there were none. Also discussion of flagging for the ship, to reflag or not. Export issues of military equipment. In one breath it’s a matter of selling to the public, but according to DOD, the ship is military equipment, (therefore should fall under Duncan Hunter, but no mention of the Duncan Hunter domestic scrapping restriction).  Also issues where no one in Bay area wants to touch ship because of historic status. Jurisich can’t wait to get the ship out of the country because of the historic status and the STORIS Museum’s publicity and general awareness of the ship’s significance.

P72- More discussion about deadlines

P74- STORIS can’t be moved easily because she is anchoring IRIS and PLANETREE while powering other vessels. Jurisich describes conditions of how STORIS Museum got in contact with him. His description of the nature of the contact with STORIS Museum/Last Patrol is totally false, as he had an associate contact us. MARAD told us nothing, and other GSA paperwork shows that I had to FOIA for the buyer info. By the time I received the FOIA answer, we had already been in contact with Jurisich. We never asked Jurisich to have the ship donated to us for free. We may have offered him the chance to do so for a writeoff, but for the most part, STORIS Museum and Last Patrol were trying to negotiate a reasonable purchase price in combination with a tax deduction since both groups involved were IRS 501 c 3 nonprofits. Jurisich said there would be no benefit to a deduction, so he wasn’t interested.

P76- COFR discussion, again can’t move the ship because she’s anchoring IRIS and PLANETREE

P78- Demil code listing is “A” according to Beach. Correspondence with State Department

P82-83- Discussion of moving STORIS as military equipment to Mexico through ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations). Again, should have prevented export for scrapping.

P95- Discussion of paperwork through State Department DSP5 (Permanent export license)

P104- Load line exemption certificate and other requirements, CG Sector SF

P107- Discussion bet. Jurisich/Dillard regarding demilling of STORIS and State involvement

P109- Confirmed that storage paid for FY 2013, so after Oct 1, fees will be incurred. Fee of sale for $250,000 to STORIS Museum came up with Loback estimating that scrapping would cost $200,000. Actual scrap estimate given to me by Gary Whitney from Mare Island Ship Yard was $330,000 with haz-mat and labor, with best case scrap value of ship at appx. $290,000. This did not include insurance, towing or mooring fees, either, so how any profit could be made from scrapping STORIS is still highly questionable.

P113-118- Attempt by Dillard to get update from Jurisich

P119- Jurisich talks of CG inspection and determination whether COFR needed or not

P125- From late August, Dillard needs copy of COFR and status update

P126- Jurisich says has COFR, cost is $3500/month, ship was to be moved Aug. 28

P131-134 – POC for vessel tow at USCG

P135-36- COFR ready/signed

P137-139 -- Discussion of insurance/COFR issues with insurance underwriter

P140-141 through to 156- Correspondence dated July. Plan to tow to Alameda, ship in very good condition, laid up better than other CG vessels with fresh bottom paint, chests blanked, Jurisich discusses paperwork regarding clean of “all PCBs”

P157 -159 – email including correspondence with Jeff Sause towing company based in Oregon. Details of ship from GSA auction, nothing about export restrictions. Ship eventually towed by Pacific Tug. According to our West Coast tug expert, Sause is based in Oregon and does long-haul towing, particularly log barges to San Diego.

P161-168- Discussion about COFR, point of contact for pollution control center, discussion regarding Defense Logistics Agency and GSA bet Jurisich and Dillard. Jurisich speaks of wire for $50,100 coming in… from where? Unknown financial backer? Federal law requires that foreign wire transfers in excess of $10,000 must have identification of the money’s source. This is through the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act and the PATRIOT Act of 2001, some MAJOR federal laws. There is no indication in any of this correspondence that GSA requested to know where the foreign money was coming from.

P169-171 through to 183 - COFR discussion. Beach asks GSA when he can release name of buyer as STORIS Museum wants to discuss purchasing the ship as one of our backers was out of the country and we assumed ship would be relisted since reserve not met for auction.

P173- Bischoff specifically tells Beach that he is never authorized to tell who bought the ship. Make anyone who asks file a FOIA through GSA
P176- Reference to me asking for name of buyer, forcing me to FOIA, FOIA process streamlined, etc. It took almost a month to get a response just to find out who the buyer was and by that time, he had already contacted us through his intermediary and already gone through his extortion terms. GSA left my phone number in again that I had to resubmit to GSA to have redacted.

P180-181- More about FOIA, specifically Region 4 streamlined, but FOIA has to go through HQ to be assigned to region.

P184- STORIS awarded to Jurisich

P185-187- correspondence between Jurisich and Dillard, discussion of wiring of funds Internationally, again question through Federal Law as to where the money came from.

P188-197- Discussion between GSA, Jeff Beach and Jim Lukasiewicz, Sea Cadet contact, to claim STORIS under the public benefit provisions of disposal using the two-year timetable we had been given by GSA before they found the Section 106 MOA

P198-199- Forms for STORIS Museum to become eligible for GSA program Jim Loback’s personal information left in.

200-206- The 501 (c) (3) paperwork for STORIS Museum.

The next GSA release is supposed to come on or before August 7.

Email sent to CG Commandant, Chief Counsel and FOIA HQ re: STORIS appeal

On June 28, 2014, I sent in an appeal to the U.S. Coast Guard related to the Freedom of Information Act request that I had submitted on Nov. 4, 2013, right after STORIS was illegally exported to Mexico.

I have heard nothing in response.

The appeal is here:

So, I sent out an email to ask what the Coast Guard is doing about the appeal and for other documents that GSA and MARAD have sent to CG FOIA HQ for review and release.

First on the recipient list is Commandant Paul Zukunft. Second recipient list is RADM Steven D. Poulin, chief counsel for the CG. Also on the recipient list are the FOIA HQ, Amanda Ackerson, the civilian FOIA representative with whom I had correspondence re: STORIS and Nikki Gramian of the Office of Government Information Services, a branch of the National Archives that is supposed to mediate FOIA issues.

The text of the email is as follows:

Dear ADM Zukunft, RADM Poulin and staff of the FOIA division of the U.S. Coast Guard-

I am writing to you in regard to the attached Freedom of Information Act appeal submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard over one year ago (June 28, 2014) for which I have received no acknowledgement or response.

This FOIA was in regard to records related to the USCGC STORIS (WMEC-38). The original circumstances of the appeal are disappointing enough, but to then have to go a year without a response adds further insult to those of us who are rightfully seeking answers as to how STORIS could be allowed to be excessed and exported for scrapping in Mexico in violation of federal law.

There are also outstanding FOIA matters related to interagency communications with the General Services Administration and the U.S. Maritime Administration. This involves documents that have been referred by these agencies to U.S. Coast Guard for review and release for FOIA requests that I have submitted to those agencies. I am wondering where these documents are in the FOIA review process of USCG.

I would appreciate a response to the appeal, considering that, again, it's been over a year with no response.

Your attention and cooperation with this matter is greatly appreciated.


Jon A. Ottman
on behalf of the STORIS Museum of Juneau, Alaska (dissolved 2014)
and The Last Patrol Museum of Toledo, Ohio

as well as the veterans and supporters of the USCGC STORIS

I will update if.when I hear anything. A year is inexcusable.

EPA is next. It was a year for them in MAY.


Response received early on the afternoon of July 9:

Dear Mr. Ottman
Your appeal letter of June 24, 2014, regarding FOIA 2014-0556, was received by this office on June 28, 2014, and assigned FOIA appeal number A2014-025.
Your appeal is currently under appellate review within the Office of Information Management Programs and Policy (CG-611).
Due to the time-intensive, but necessary, review procedures, we cannot accurately estimate when your appeal will be decided; however, please be assured we will provide you with a decision as soon as possible.
In the event you have future questions regarding your appeal, please reference FOIA appeal A2014-025 and send you correspondence to:
Commandant (CG-611)
Attn: FOIA Officer
U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7710
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20593-7710
Michael Maher
U.S. Coast Guard FOIA Appeals Coordinator
Office of Information Management Programs and Policys (sic)

I later received this email: 

Good afternoon Mr. Ottman,
On behalf of Admiral Zukunft, please accept our apologies for the lengthy delay in responding to your appeal. We will continue to work to improve our responsiveness to the public on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) inquiries to avoid situations like that encountered in your case.
I have spoken to our FOIA Appeal Officer, Mr. Maher, as well as our legal advisor, Captain John Luce, and both are committed to ensuring you receive a reply on this matter in the near future. We understand your desire for transparency and will ensure we consider your appeal fairly and equitably under the law and policy.
We appreciate your interest in gathering information for the distinguished crewmembers of STORIS and maritime supporters throughout the country.
Have a good afternoon sir.
Executive Assistant to the Commandant

Op-Ed: Where did the Maritime Heritage Grant money go? P1

Maritime Executive has published the first of a multi-part op-ed piece on the STORIS Act. The next installments will specifically address STORIS herself and the issues surrounding her illegal export.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Key Legislators identified to request support for STORIS ACT

Legislators that need specific targeting to support the STORIS ACT:

House Armed Services Committee - Seapower Subcommittee

        J. Randy Forbes, Virginia - Chairman
        K. Michael Conaway, Texas
        Bradley Byrne, Alabama
        Robert J. Wittman, Virginia
        Duncan Hunter, California   
        Vicky Hartzler, Missouri   
        Paul Cook, California   
        Jim Bridenstine, Oklahoma
        Jackie Walorski, Indiana
        Ryan Zinke, Montana
        Steve Knight, California
        Steve Russell, Oklahoma

        Joe Courtney, Connecticut - Ranking Member
        James R. Langevin, Rhode Island
        Rick Larsen, Washington
        Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Guam
        Henry C. "Hank" Johnson Jr., Georgia
        Scott H. Peters, California
        Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii
        Gwen Graham, Florida
        Seth Moulton, Massachusetts

House Energy and Commerce - Energy and the Economy


        John Shimkus, Illinois - Chairman
        Gregg Harper, Mississippi, Vice Chairman
        Ed Whitfield, Kentucky
        Joe Pitts, Pennsylvania
        Tim Murphy, Pennsylvania
        Bob Latta, Ohio
        David McKinley, West Virginia
        Bill Johnson, Ohio
        Larry Bucshon, Indiana
        Bill Flores, Texas
        Richard Hudson, North Carolina
        Kevin Cramer, North Dakota
        Fred Upton, Michigan (Ex Officio)


        Paul Tonko, New York, Ranking Member
        Kurt Schrader, Oregon
        Gene Green, Texas
        Diana DeGette, Colorado
        Lois Capps, California
        Michael F. Doyle, Pennsylvania
        Jerry McNerney, California
        Tony Cardenas, California
        Frank Pallone, Jr., New Jersey (Ex Officio)

Senate Commerce Committee - Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security


        Deb Fisher, Nebraska - Chairman
        Roger Wicker, Mississippi
        Roy Blunt, Missouri
        Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire
        Jerry Moran, Kansas
        Dan Sullivan, Alaska
        Ron Johnson, Wisconsin
        Dean Heller, Nevada
        Steve Daines, Montana


        Cory Booker, Ranking, New Jersey
        Maria Cantwell, Washington
        Claire McCaskill, Missouri
        Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota
        Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut
        Brian Schatz, Hawaii
        Edward Markey, Massachusetts
        Tom Udall, New Mexico

Contact information for Congress is here:

A draft letter asking for Congressional support is here: It has been updated to reflect introduction of HR 2876.  Modify it, use excerpts or do whatever works to fit your needs and send it out. The letter contains the basics to which STORIS supporters can add their personalized touches to appeal to Congress while also expressing their concerns about how STORIS was allowed to be destroyed.

If anyone needs any assistance, message me through Facebook or email at

Thank you.


Huge news. This is a very important read and something that has been taking shape for the past several weeks. I’ve asked that everyone stand by for something big coming and today is the day. It’s time for STORIS vets and supporters to stand up and be heard. Please share this with your families, shipmates, friends, colleagues, etc. We need all hands on deck for this one.

Yesterday, June 4, U.S. Senators David Vitter (R-La.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) introduced Senate Bill S 1511, the Ships to Be Recycled in the States (STORIS) Act. This legislation is intended to reform the domestic marine recycling industry. Their legislation would improve the domestic ship recycling industry and promote transparency by requiring reports from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) and an audit of MARAD by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Congressman Garret Graves (R-La.) introduced the companion legislation HR 2876 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The House bill is

cosponsored by Rep. Duncan Dunter (CA), and Rep. Filmon Vela (Texas), Rep. Charles Boustany (LA), Rep. Robert Brady (PA), and Rep. Al Green (TX) 

The media releases are here:

The legislation can be tracked here:

You will remember that a version of the STORIS Act was being considered last year for introduction by Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska). That effort came to a halt before the legislation could be introduced when Senator Begich lost his bid for re-election. However, other legislators took up the mantle and have moved forward with it, culminating in yesterday’s introduction. Last fall, the Facebook posting sharing the original STORIS Act discussion reached almost 7,800 people. Again, we need to share this post with everyone who has an interest in STORIS to mobilize and speak up for the ship and her disrespectful disposal at the hands of the government that she so faithfully served.

For the past several weeks, I’ve been assisting with providing information about the ship and her undeserved fate to the legislators involved. I provided a written statement of support on behalf and as a member of the STORIS Working Group, the legal partnership formed between the STORIS Museum of Juneau and The Last Patrol Museum of Toledo. Various Maritime Heritage sites from across the country have also written letters of support for the legislation. And now here we are.

A draft of the STORIS Act, as introduced as S 1511, is here:

In general, this legislation seeks to reform administrative procedures at the U.S. Maritime Administration. Like the version discussed last fall, key provisions of this legislation will seek to free up designated funding for U.S. Maritime Heritage sites/facilities across the country as well as state maritime academies. The money is generated through the sales of obsolete MARAD/government vessels and a percentage is to be used for competitive grant funding for these maritime heritage and education organizations. In recent years, MARAD has been hoarding the money, holding back substantial amounts that should be going out as grants even as the various museums and heritage resources struggle to find funds to maintain their operations.

Some of the earlier language from the initial proposed legislation has been changed to make the legislation more likely to pass. New language that will be beneficial to the efforts to seek answers for STORIS has been added, a bonus for us.

This extremely important part of the legislation calls for an audit of MARAD’s ship recycling program by the GAO. As indicated in the introduction to the media release, there are serious questions about how the Maritime Administration has been operating in terms of its disposal of obsolete government vessels. We now know that GSA should never have been involved with the excessing and disposal of STORIS as that should have been MARAD’s duty under 40 USC 548 because STORIS displaced more than 1,500 tons. We also know that it was illegal to export STORIS to Mexico for scrapping because of Section 3502 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which prohibits the scrapping of former U.S. Government vessels in foreign scrapyards.

Similar audit language was included in the En Bloc Amendments to the CG Authorization Bill, HR 1987.

The emails I have received from MARAD through the Freedom of Information Act show that MARAD officials expressed skepticism in the days before STORIS’ departure that the ship was free of PCBs as the Coast Guard and GSA claimed. Yet these MARAD officials did nothing to stop the sequence of events taking place, despite knowing STORIS was of WWII vintage, making it highly likely she contained regulated materials. They did nothing and released her for export to Mexico for breaking in a substandard yard.

MARAD officials claim that they were just holding STORIS as a “custody ship,” that the responsibility lay elsewhere. However, as the agency charged with overseeing our nation’s maritime fleet, MARAD officials knew better than to allow this situation to take place. That MARAD did not step up to assume its proper role as the rightful agency to handle STORIS’ disposition while allowing the ship to be exported in violation of federal laws raises serious questions about these administrators. There have also been irregularities with MARAD administrators awarding obsolete vessels to ship recycling facilities that did not submit the highest bids. The sums of money involved have exceeded hundreds of thousands of dollars per ship. All that money adds up and it is not a “best value” practice in the best interests for U.S. taxpayers.

This audit is meant to be comprehensive to encompass all of these issues. There is language specifically calling out the review of MARAD agreements with the Coast Guard, GSA, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies for compliance with Section 3502 of the Duncan Hunter NDAA. This will bring the issues with STORIS and her illegal export directly onto the table. The issues with the undocumented materials that likely contained PCBs exported illegally in spite of the PCB Export Ban of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 should also come out as part of that discussion.

In addition to STORIS, the language should encompass what happened with ACUSHNET and her sale through an improper GSA auction, despite her tonnage exceeding 40 USC 548 guidelines. She then became the central component of a federal criminal case since the buyer reportedly swindled a wealthy widow for the money to buy the ship. Then there’s GLACIER, which was sold for scrap by MARAD despite efforts and substantial investment in money, time, labor and parts by a nonprofit group to preserve her as a museum. I’ll be reaching out to veterans of these cutters to seek their support for this legislation, as well. We all deserve answers and these great ships certainly deserved better than what they received at the hands of the federal bureaucracy.

I submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to the four agencies involved with STORIS’ export on Nov. 4, 2013, right after she was allowed to leave the country (to USCG, GSA, MARAD, EPA). It’s been over a year and a half and the agencies involved still have not fully complied. Coast Guard and GSA will be handled separately. However, MARAD was to have responded to my final FOIA appeal by Feb. 9, 2015 and they have not done so as of this writing. MARAD officials might be able to stall me with delays and redactions, but they cannot stall the GAO. MARAD has to show GAO officials ALL their cards and there is no holding back or hiding.

It is conceivable that, as details come out through the MARAD audit, there could be some deeper examinations into these other agencies by GAO or other authorities to see how this disgraceful situation occurred with STORIS. It's pretty clear from what we've been able to glean from the sparse FOIA releases we HAVE received that there were a lot of faulty and improper decisions made across the board with all the agencies involved. This is especially true with the collusion between GSA and USCG to get rid of the ship ASAP with no consideration for the ship's history and other factors like the obvious violation of several federal laws.

Read about the GAO here:  The agency is a nonpartisan “congressional watchdog” that investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. They also monitor compliance with federal laws and procedures.

The introduction through the legislators in Louisiana ties to MARAD ship sales, which directly impacts ship recycling facilities and jobs in that state as well as neighboring Texas. The STORIS Act is meant to create jobs by ensuring that all vessels can be dismantled in the United States in compliance with U.S. environmental and safety laws, and are not exported where those safety rules do not apply. That would include the substandard yard in Ensenada, Mexico, where STORIS met her fate.

Key language in the media release announcing the introduction and origin of the STORIS Act is the following: “The STORIS Act is named in recognition of the former Coast Guard Cutter STORIS, which was dismantled in Mexico in 2013 in violation of the current law.”

The acknowledgement of STORIS’ export and scrapping as illegal is a tremendous step, as we now have three Federal legislators – two senators and a congressman – publicly stating that her export and scrapping in Mexico was illegal. This is a great opportunity to get STORIS and her fate out into the open for discussion at all levels, from the street to DC.

It’s already starting to be publicized:

We need STORIS supporters to reach out to their members of Congress to ask that they support this legislation. There are several key questions that this legislation will answer. We want and deserve truthful responses as to how STORIS was allowed to be destroyed. This legislation can hopefully help us get some of those answers.

Contact information for Congress is here:

A draft letter asking for Congressional support is here: Modify it, use excerpts or do whatever works to fit your needs and send it out. The letter contains the basics to which STORIS supporters can add their personalized touches to appeal to Congress while also expressing their concerns about how STORIS was allowed to be destroyed.

Let’s do this, for STORIS as she did for over 64 years, with Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty.

If anyone has any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a line at

Semper Paratus!