PASCAGOULA, MS — Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) has been awarded the 2012 Champion of Maritime award from the American Maritime Partnership (AMP), a group representing the domestic maritime industry in Mississippi and across the United States.


Wicker was presented the award by a coalition of officials representing American shipyards, ship operators, seafarers, and pro-defense organizations at the VT Halter Marine shipyard. In presenting the award, Bill Skinner, president of VT Halter, called Sen. Wicker “a leader who understands and supports an industry that is so vital to our State and nation.”


There are approximately 8,234 domestic maritime industry-related jobs in Mississippi that generate an annual economic impact in excess of $1.5 billion, according to a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers. In addition there are a substantial number of jobs related to the defense shipyard industry in Mississippi.


“An active and viable maritime industry is critical to our nation’s national and economic security,” said Wicker. “Mississippi continues to play a proud and prominent role, and I look forward to continuing my work in the U.S. Senate on important maritime priorities.” Sen. Wicker sits on two Senate panels that oversee the maritime industry, the Armed Services Committee and the Commerce, Science and Technology Committee, and is a member of each of those panels’ maritime subcommittees.


“Sen. Wicker has consistently stood up for the American maritime industry,” said James Henry, the chairman of AMP, the national coalition for the domestic maritime industry. “He’s been a tireless fighter for an industry that is good for Mississippi and good for American national, economic and homeland security.”