AAPA Seaports Advisory

Channel Deepening and Jobs: South Louisiana

Print Print this Article | Send to Colleague

South Louisiana Wins Job Creation Project of The Year Award

The Port of South Louisiana received the Job Creation Project of the Year Award at the 10th Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum, March 1-3 in Montreal. The port was lauded for its dogged pursuit of federal funding for the Mississippi River Shipping Channel Dredging Project, which will help preserve and create thousands of good-paying jobs across the United States.

"I was honored the port won this award, but my efforts to ensure the deepening of the Mississippi River Ship Channel are for the state of Louisiana and the entire nation," said South Louisiana Port Executive Director Paul Aucoin. "Keeping the Mississippi River fully dredged will ensure continued economic growth across the entire United States. Most importantly, this means millions of Americans will continue to have good paying jobs. These jobs help support families, send young adults to college and ensure the wellbeing of our communities and our nation."

In this advocacy role, Aucoin has traveled repeatedly to Washington, D.C. for meetings with key infrastructure stakeholders including legislators, reporters and think-tanks. "In Washington," he said, "I stressed that ensuring the river is open for business will stimulate impressive economic growth and generate thousands of good paying jobs for working Americans. As a country, the Mississippi River is one of our most valuable natural resources and we must take steps to ensure its continued reliability."

Currently, one-in-five jobs in Louisiana depends on the Mississippi River. An economic impact study done by the Big River Coalition and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development indicated that deepening the Mississippi River Ship Channel to 50 feet would create nearly 17,000 new and permanent jobs.

Although Congress authorized a 50-foot channel depth in 1985, the project was never fully funded.

The 54-mile South Louisiana port district straddles the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.  Located along its 108 miles of deepwater frontage are seven grain transfer facilities, four major oil processing plants, 11 petrochemical manufacturing facilities and other industrial complexes. Among the operators are ADM, ArcelorMittal, Dow, Cargill, DuPont, Motiva Enterprises, Marathon, Shell, Nucor Steel., Occidental, Valero, and Occidental Chemical. More than a quarter million short tons of cargo is processed through the port annually – 294 million tons in 2016 alone the most of any port in the Western Hemisphere.

Ships and grain elevator underscore South Louisiana’s importance to America’s grain trade and the need for unencumbered access via the Mississippi River to world markets. In 2016, the port handled more than 106 million tons of corn, milo, soybeans, wheat, and animal feed.  Photo/Port of South Louisiana


Back to AAPA Seaports Advisory

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn