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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    110-324

======================================================================



 
     RECOGNIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF AMERICA'S WATERWAY WATCH PROGRAM

                                _______
                                

 September 14, 2007.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Oberstar, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                       [To accompany H. Res. 549]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the resolution (H. Res. 549) recognizing the 
importance of America's Waterway Watch program, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same report favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommend that the resolution be agreed 
to.

                       PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION

    H. Res. 549 recognizes the importance of the America's 
Waterway Watch program.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The America's Waterway Watch program was developed by the 
United States Coast Guard to encourage ordinary residents to 
assist in enhancing the security of tunnels, bridges, ports, 
ships, military bases, coasts, and other water-related 
resources. The program, similar to the well known Neighborhood 
Watch program, focuses on marine-related areas and compliments 
existing waterfront watch programs.
    The United States has more than 290,000 square miles of 
water and more than 95,000 miles of shoreline. At any time, 
terrorists have the ability to target coastlines, rivers, 
ships, tunnels, bridges, ports, waterside industries, and 
military bases. The Coast Guard and local first responders are 
charged with protecting these areas, but given limited 
resources, cannot do it alone.
    Through the America's Waterway Watch program, the Coast 
Guard and its Reserve and Auxiliary components conduct outreach 
efforts to people who live, work, or play around America's 
waterfront areas. These efforts include outreach to fishermen, 
marina operators, longshoremen, tow boat crews, pilots, beach 
goers, waterfront homeowners, and over 70 million recreational 
boaters. The program gives people specific examples of where to 
look, what to look for, and what to do if a suspicious activity 
is discovered.
    Millions of brochures, wallet cards, and posters have been 
distributed to recreational boaters, marine dealers, marinas, 
and other businesses located near our waterways. The 
educational material encourages participants to report 
suspicious activities to the Coast Guard and other law 
enforcement agencies by calling 911 or 877-24WATCH. This 
centralized national phone number is manned 24 hours a day; 7 
days a week.
    In 2003, a potential terrorist incident was thwarted when a 
merchant mariner, who was aware of the America's Waterway Watch 
program, called the hotline because he observed suspicious 
activity. Sayed Abdul Malike, a suspected terrorist with known 
connections to Al Qaeda, asked Captain John Martin unusual 
questions and took pictures as the boat transited under Miami, 
Florida's I-95 bridge. Captain Martin's call led to the 
investigation of Malike and his eventual apprehension in 
Brooklyn, New York, the same year.
    The program acts as a force multiplier for the Coast Guard 
and local law enforcement and gives normal citizens the ability 
to act as the eyes and ears of out waterways in a way that is 
both meaningful and productive. It is an excellent way for 
citizens to contribute to America's homeland security.

                       SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATION

    H. Res. 549 recognizes the importance of the Coast Guard's 
America's Waterway Watch program. The program is a maritime 
security public outreach effort that encourages 70 million 
recreational boaters and others who live, work, or play around 
America's waterways to have a heightened sense of awareness and 
report suspicious or unusual activities in the maritime domain 
to the Coast Guard National Response Center or other law 
enforcement agencies.

            LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On July 16, 2007, Representative Bilirakis introduced House 
Resolution 549.
    On August 2, 2007, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure met in open session and ordered H. Res. 549 
reported favorably to the House by voice vote.

                              RECORD VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report to include the total number of 
votes cast for and against on each record vote on a motion to 
report and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter, 
and the names of those members voting for and against. There 
were no recorded votes taken in connection with ordering H. 
Res. 549 reported. A motion to order H. Res. 549 reported 
favorably to the House was agreed to by voice vote with a 
quorum present.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          COST OF LEGISLATION

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(d)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H. Res. 549 
is a resolution of the House of Representatives and therefore 
does not have the force of law. As such, there is no cost 
associated with this resolution for fiscal year 2007, or for 
any fiscal year thereafter.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee 
advises that the resolution contains no measure that authorizes 
funding, so no comparison of the total estimated funding level 
for the relevant programs to the appropriate levels under 
current law is required.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee advises that the resolution contains no measure that 
authorizes funding, so no statement of general performance and 
objectives for any measure that authorizes funding is required.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee advises that the resolution contains no measure that 
authorizes funding. Neither a cost estimate nor comparison for 
any measure that authorizes funding is required.

                     COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XXI

    Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, H. Res. 549 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI 
of the Rules of the House of Representatives.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    With respect to (3)(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H. Res. 549 is a resolution of the 
House of Representatives and therefore does not have the force 
of law. As such, clause (3)(d)(1) of rule XIII does not apply.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    H. Res. 549 contains no Federal mandates.

                        PREEMPTION CLARIFICATION

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local, 
or tribal law. The Committee states that H. Res. 549 does not 
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this 
resolution.

                APPLICABILITY TO THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the resolution does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 
104-1).

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    H. Res. 549 makes no changes in existing law.