Contributed By: St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District
The St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District celebrated National Maritime Day on May 22, 2019. National Maritime Day was created in order to acknowledge the vast economic benefits of the maritime industry to both local communities and the nation. The holiday is observed on May 22, in honor of the date of the first transoceanic voyage under steam power, in which the American steamship Savannah set sail from Savannah, Georgia. St. Bernard Parish has been positively impacted by the success of our local maritime industry, which has been directed by the St. Bernard Port since 1982.
The St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District’s strategic location along the Mississippi River has greatly benefitted the maritime industry because the nation depends on the waterway for transportation of raw goods and materials. The Port’s Marine Terminal Operator, Associated Terminals, LLC, is an integral part of shipping and trade along the Mississippi River. Associated Terminals ships and receives many of the commodities that power the United States’ economy, such as fertilizer, coal, aluminium, and steel.
Drew Heaphy, the Executive Director of the St. Bernard Port said, “The maritime industry is one of the driving forces of the economy in Louisiana, it creates one in five jobs throughout the state.” The St. Bernard Port credits much of its success to the dedicated people who are employed by the Port, and by the 42 tenants located within its four terminals. “The St. Bernard Port is proud to play a role in allowing hardworking individuals to better their own lives, as well as the community as a whole,” said Heaphy.
The continued growth at the St. Bernard Port has wide-reaching implications not only for St. Bernard Parish, but the entire region. “The St. Bernard Port and maritime industry as a whole continues to be a vital component to our economic climate in metro New Orleans,” according to St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation (SBEDF) Executive Director, Andrew Jacques. “Moreover, the St. Bernard Port is responsible for 18% of the jobs in the Parish with average salaries well over the local average.”
The maritime industry will continue to expand locally and nationally, as so much of what we use and consume in our daily lives has been transported by waterway. The St. Bernard Port will strive to make a continued effort in growing St. Bernard’s maritime industry and looks forward to seeing our great parish and nation continue to flourish.