For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Kelly Trout, 202-222-0722,; Nick Berning, 202-222-0748,

Environmental Costs of Short Sea Shipping Weighed in New Report

Report examines the harmful impacts of short sea shipping in California and proposes ways to reduce them

SAN FRANCISCO - Friends of the Earth today released a report detailing the
environmental challenges associated with short sea shipping-the regional
transportation of goods by ship, rather than by truck or railcar.

Domestic freight transportation is projected to increase rapidly within
the next decade, and short sea shipping has been championed as an
economical and environmentally friendly alternative to land

However, Friends of the Earth has found in the new report, "Expanding Short Sea Shipping in California: Environmental Impacts and Recommended Best Practices,"
that the environmental consequences of short sea shipping have received
insufficient scrutiny. The report delves into detail about the
potentially harmful health and environmental impacts of increased
shipping and ways to mitigate them.

"Short sea shipping has the potential to be greener than other types of
freight transport.  However, major threats related to expanded
operations -- such as air pollution, ocean noise, and strikes of marine
mammals -- have yet to be thoroughly addressed; until they are, claims
about its environmental superiority will ring hollow," said John
Kaltenstein of Friends of the Earth, who authored the report.

"We have found that adopting the most environmentally advanced
technologies is crucial to minimizing the negative impacts of short sea
shipping," Kaltenstein said. "Industry leaders should adopt best
practices and use low-emissions fuel, plug into electric shore power at
berth, conduct regular equipment maintenance, and slow ship speeds.
Where industry leaders fail to act, policymakers should step in to
protect the public."

The report also recommends that the Maritime Administration (MARAD)
facilitate a comprehensive, transparent review of short sea shipping's
impact on public health and the environment, and share the review's
conclusions with the public.

The report can be viewed at:


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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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