Project SEAMIST (South East Area Marine Industry Safety Training)

Principal Investigator/Project Director

Stephen Grant

Colleges / Centers

Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine


U.S. DHHS NIH - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Start Date



The extensive water networks of the United States maritime industry carry over 65 percent of the products transported in and around the country. Every United States region has supply lines to navigable waterways and/or coastal or inland ports that are used to transport these goods. To date, training for workers within and ancillary to the maritime industry that handle hazardous materials as well as training related to worker safety, disaster preparedness and response have been limited. Over nearly a decade, Project South East Area Maritime Industry Safety Training (SEAMIST), a Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program (HWWTP) and Project Hazardous Material Maritime Industry Response Training Initiative (HazMIRTSI), a Hazmat Preparedness Disaster Training Program (HPDTP), funded by a cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has addressed this unmet need. Specifically, Project SEAMIST provides health and safety training for personnel whose jobs may bring them into contact with hazardous materials in ports. To date, we have trained approximately 7,000 participants, logging close to 70,000 contact hours and targeting several occupational areas in the maritime industry within Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, New York, and California. Building on this, Project HazMIRTSI trained approximately 1,000 first responders to effectively handle disasters on our waterways, especially involving hazardous waste, as well as the general population on how to safely respond and provide clean-up after disasters. Project HazMIRTSI has extended our presence from the Gulf and Atlantic states to the northern Atlantic states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maine, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Both projects have been able to reach a nationwide audience and have used innovative training approaches and state-of-the-art technologies, with flexibility to continuously adapt and evolve the curriculum to fit the needs of trainees. Going forward, we aim to provide safety and hazardous preparedness training to over 9,000 maritime workers in both English and Spanish, provide disaster response training for 3,000 skilled response personnel, provide new disaster preparedness training for 1,000 community members and continue to revise, optimize and enhance our training curricula and evaluation protocols. Both projects aim to resolve the lack of economical and specialized training courses available to the maritime industry. Our safety training courses reduce and possibly eliminate incidences of injuries and deaths among maritime workers, the community, and responders during and after disasters.

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