Port Security Inside Out: A Systems Approach to Safeguarding Our Nation's Ports

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress quickly realized that the porous nature of ports and waterways throughout the United States made them an attractive target for transportation security incidents. While there was a patchwork of regulations that endowed the United States Coast Guard with the authority to address port security, Congress adopted far-reaching legislative measures to bolster existing port security regulations and enhance maritime domain awareness. Both the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 and the SAFE Port Act of 2006 seek to create a comprehensive and layered approach to preventing and responding to events that have the potential to disrupt the flow of waterborne commerce.