I wish the Mariners in the Gulf of Mexico had an agency that would lobby for them in Congress. Unfortunately OMSA and others are not pro-mariner unless it is their own interest and any time we try to get an association together to lobby, it gets branded as a union. This is a HUGE issue for Mariners and with 69,000 votes just in licensed personnel, let alone related industries, we should pressure Congress to smack CBP around a little. We don’t money and lobbyists but we have votes. Additionally, I refuse to get in bed with organizations that lobby against or ignore us when we need help but champion us when it is in their best interest.
In the meantime I will try and help Mariners behind the scenes for free since in my eyes that is my duty as a former afloat Coastie, work with my contacts inside the USCG, and educate my Congresspeople to get needed changes made.