"Waterfronts, where commercial, industrial, and recreational activities are established, are part of our critical infrastructure. They are facilities, systems, and networks essential to the health, safety, and economic well-being of the United States. These maritime interface areas are protected by the local emergency services agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard, and sometimes, industrial fire brigades. This report addresses fire department preparedness for incidents in maritime areas and the importance of establishing a multiagency response capability that includes law enforcement, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), port authorities, the private sector, and emergency management agencies. Stakeholders in maritime emergency preparedness include Federal, State, and local governments as well as commercial private-sector entities and labor organizations. In many communities, these stakeholders only recently have begun working together for disaster preparedness and emergency response planning. […] Protecting ports and terminals from the risks of natural disasters, accidents, and terrorism is a significant challenge to our Nation's disaster preparedness and emergency response agencies, not only at the local level but for the Federal Government as well. In addition to the aforementioned commerce-related importance of ports, ports also are key locations for recreation, tourism, and employment through myriad related businesses. Such businesses include land-based transportation of goods to and from ports, construction and maintenance of port facilities and equipment, and the actual operations of the port and vessels. Ports are multi-model transportation centers where rail and truck and off-loading operations are tied to maritime commerce."
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/