For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today traveled to Charleston, S.C. to see U.S. Coast Guard operations at the Port of Charleston and meet with state and local law enforcement officials. Secretary Napolitano was joined by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham to announce the transition of responsibility for Project SeaHawk – a pilot project to enhance port security operations and coordination among Federal, state, and local agencies – from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to DHS on October 1, 2009.
“Project SeaHawk is an innovative security program designed to increase our maritime security capabilities,” said Secretary Napolitano. “By working with our state, local, and Federal partners we will improve overall situational awareness, increase information sharing and continue to collaborate to find more effective and efficient ways to protect our ports.”
Project SeaHawk was established by Congress in 2003 as a collaborative initiative designed to bring multiple agencies together to protect the port. Located at Port Charleston in South Carolina, SeaHawk enables Federal agencies to work together with South Carolina authorities to share information and coordinate maritime response efforts.
Under the SAFE Port Act of 2006, DHS is establishing interagency operations centers for port security at all high-priority ports. DHS and DOJ will work closely to ensure a smooth transition of authority for Project SeaHawk – a program that continues to serve as a successful model of cooperative port protection.