The risk assessment process is a structured approach to obtaining expert judgments on the level of waterway risk. The process also addresses the relative merit of specific types of Vessel Traffic Management (VTM) improvements for reducing risk in the port. Based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), the port risk assessment process uses a select group of experts/stakeholders in each port to evaluate waterway risk factors and the effectiveness of various VTM improvements. The process requires the participation of local Coast Guard officials before and throughout the workshops. Thus the process is a joint effort involving waterway user experts, stakeholders, and the agencies/entities responsible for implementing selected risk mitigation measures. This methodology employs a generic model of port risk that was conceptually developed by a National Dialog Group on Port Risk and then translated into computer algorithms by the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. In that model, risk is defined as the sum of the probability of a casualty and its consequences. Consequently, the model includes variables associated with both the causes and the effects of vessel casualties. Because the risk factors in the model do NOT contribute equally to overall port risk, the first session of each workshop is devoted to obtaining expert opinion about how to weight the relative contribution of each variable to overall port risk. The experts then are asked to establish scales to measure each variable. Once the parameters have been established for each risk-inducing factor, each port's risk is estimated by putting into the computer risk model specific values for that port for each variable. The computer model allows comparison of relative risk and the potential efficacy of various VTM improvements between different ports.