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Port NOLA hosts 7th annual Maritime Month

Posted on May 10, 2023

May is shaping up to be an extremely busy month for the Port of New Orleans, and it’s not just because of the steady stream of shipments from all around the globe that make their way up the mouth of the Mississippi River daily. Port officials are celebrating the seventh annual Maritime Month during May, and the public is invited to see what’s going on behind the scenes.

Port of New Orleans Director of Marketing, Communications & Community Engagement Renee Aragon Dolese said the local celebration coincides with National Maritime Day, a celebration that occurs each year on May 22.

“In 2017, we took the opportunity to turn Maritime Day into a monthlong campaign in order to recognize our local maritime and logistics workforce, and just in general to raise public awareness about the value of the port here in New Orleans,” Dolese said. “Even though the city itself grew up around the early port activity and it has been used to create jobs for the region and state, most people don’t even have an idea of the scope of international freight that gets moved here at the Port of New Orleans on the other side of the floodwall.”

Dolese said the Maritime Month celebration is a great opportunity for New Orleans residents, many of whom commute daily along the mile-long floodwall separating Tchoupitoulas Street from the port, to see firsthand what goes on.

During the month of May, the port is holding a public trivia contest on the Port NOLA, New Orleans Public Belt and Harbor Police Department Facebook pages. Winners will earn a spot on a boat tour of the port’s facilities.

“We’re going to give people a look at the actual working river, and it’s a pretty rare experience. We’re offering two public boat tours on May 26, and each boat tour will accommodate about 20 guests,” said Arian Randolph, community engagement manager at the port. “The tour starts at our port facilities, and we go all the way Uptown to around Henry Clay. It’s really cool to see the port as it’s being worked on. The gantry cranes are going, the trucks are moving, and you get to see that up close and personal. Then, the tour will turn back around on the river and go up to around the St. Louis Cathedral, so people get to see our cruise terminal and our cruise operations as well.”

For those not able to take the boat tour in person, the port also offers a virtual 3D boat tour on the Port of New Orleans website, Dolese said. The overall goal is to increase public awareness of the port’s many activities while also celebrating the men and women who do the work that makes the port a thriving economic driver for the region, she said.

“During Maritime Month we shine a special light on the dedicated maritime and logistics workers who keep the Port NOLA gateway strong,” Port NOLA President and CEO and NOPB CEO Brandy Christian said in a news release. “Maritime Month is also an opportunity to focus on our greatest natural resource: the Mississippi River. It fuels international commerce and generates jobs and revenue for Louisiana.”

For a virtual tour inside the Port of New Orleans, click here.


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