"This plan will help us meet the challenges and changes facing our transportation system, the U.S. maritime industry and the Federal Government. The Maritime Administration intends to focus its efforts through 2008 on the strategic areas of commercial mobility, national security, and environmental stewardship. As you will read in our strategic plan, the Maritime Administration also directly supports achievement of the strategic objectives of the Department of Transportation. One of our greatest challenges is to increase our national transportation options in order to support our Nation's economic growth. Greater use of the maritime transportation system, through elements like short sea shipping, offers the potential to reduce passenger and freight congestion. In addition, we expect the U.S. military will increase its reliance on commercial transportation systems. These two factors are of such importance that we must plan wisely now to meet these needs. Our plan requires a more effective intermodal transportation system that serves our national need for personal mobility and for the safe and efficient movement of domestic and international freight."