The International Ship Masters' Association is a voluntary organization of dues-paying licensed professional mariners and others associated with the maritime community of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Together we are working to help create a safer and more informed waterway system.
As an organization, ISMA strives:
To be the respected voice of licensed professional mariners in matters related to navigation and safety on waters of the Great lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway System. In this process, we work with, and provide input to, regulatory agencies, legislative bodies, industry associations and other working groups on matters affecting navigational safety.
To provide opportunities for licensed merchant mariners to network, to offer their feedback, and to enhance their knowledge in a variety of ways.
To maintain mutual respect, support, and encouragement among our members, and to promote the pursuit of personal and professional excellence.
To encourage and assist those preparing for careers as merchant marine officers.
Here are two ways which ISMA directly affects the maritime community.
The ISMA Grand Lodge donates three $1000.00 scholarships annually to successful applicants. Hawsepipe Scholarship Award Open to any unlicensed rating employed in the Great Lakes basin, be they Canadian or American Mariners. Marine Officer Cadet Scholarships #1 Awarded to one Cadet enrolled at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, Michigan, #2 Awarded to one Cadet at the Great Lakes International Marine Training Center in Owen Sound, Ontario.
The Navigation, Engineering and Legislative Committee has been a vital part of the ISMA since its inception. As a committee it has brought forth recommendations to the necessary governmental and legislative bodies, for the necessary improvements to the Great Lakes Navigation lights, buoys, aids to navigation, and infrastructure. Follow the link below to see what the N.E.L.C. has done for our waterways and give the committee your input.