Aucoin took home award for his efforts to deepen the Mississippi River

Port of South Louisiana river traffic of more than 4,500 vessels per year depend on the unencumbered flow of the Mississippi River
Port of South Louisiana river traffic of more than 4,500 vessels per year depend on the unencumbered flow of the Mississippi River

Earlier this month, the Port of South Louisiana was awarded the Job Creation Project of the Year Award at the 10th Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum in Montreal, Canada. The award was presented to Paul Aucoin on behalf of the Port of South Louisiana, for its commitment to championing efforts to help secure federal funding for the Mississippi River Shipping Channel Dredging Project, which will help preserve and create thousands of good-paying jobs all across the nation. The event in Montreal was widely attended by infrastructure professionals from the United States and around the globe, with over 400 people in attendance when Paul Aucoin took home the award. “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 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. I am proud of this award and will continue to do everything I can to advocate on behalf of deepening critical sections of the Mississippi River.”

As an advocate of deepening the Mississippi River, a critical element to unencumbered movement of cargo and the success of Louisiana’s—and the nation’s—economy, Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul Aucoin has repeatedly traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet key infrastructure stakeholders including legislators, reporters and think-tanks. “In Washington, 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,” said Paul Aucoin. “As a country, the Mississippi River is one of our most valuable natural resources and we must take steps to ensure its continued reliability.”

KEY FACTS:

  • Currently, one-in-five jobs in Louisiana depends on the Mississippi River, and economic impact study done by the Big River Coalition and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development indicated the deepening of 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 properly funded. While ports on the east coast have been adequately deepened to 50 feet to accommodate today’s deep-draft vessels, the lack of attention to the Mississippi River channel continues to negatively affect ports and the industries that lie upon the largest waterway in the nation.