Many U.S. port authorities engaging in Maritime Day-related activities
American Association of Port Authorities -- Kristin Decas, port director and CEO of Southern California’s Port of Hueneme and chairwoman of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the recognized and unified voice of seaports in the Americas – has been chosen to speak at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Maritime Day ceremony on May 21.
National Maritime Day, May 22, was decreed by Congress in 1933 as a day for the United States to observe its proud maritime heritage, honor those who serve and have served as merchant mariners, and recognize the many benefits that result from America’s maritime industry. The annual event commemorates the role America plays as a maritime nation and remembers those who gave their lives in service to the industry.
The U.S. Merchant Marine have long been a pillar of the nation’s foundation, security and continued prosperity.
“I’m proud to represent AAPA in this event and partner with the Department of Transportation and other stakeholders in recognizing the important role our marine transportation system plays in our nation’s security, defense, economic prosperity and international competitiveness,” said Ms. Decas. “Our country’s history and its future is based on our being a truly great maritime nation.”
In addition to the ceremony being held in Washington, D.C., there are many other commemorations and events taking place around the country in celebration of National Maritime Day. In particular, several AAPA-member U.S. ports have scheduled events that include:
- Port of San Diego, which is celebrating National Maritime Day as part of Maritime Month by hosting bus and boat tours, contests, a movie night other events throughout May, as well as raising public awareness of the maritime industry through marketing, promotions, web and social media placements.
- Port Everglades, which held its annual Maritime Day-related “Keep Port Everglades Shipshape” event on May 16 and is using social media in advance of the May 22 national commemoration to raise awareness of the importance of the maritime industry.
- PortMiami, which is sponsoring the Propeller Club, Port of Miami's Maritime Day Celebration on May 21 and a May 28 tour of PortMiami cargo operations as part of World Trade Month.
- The Port of Virginia (VPA), which will support and participate in the Propeller Club, Port of Norfolk’s commemorative event on May 21, including Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne and VPA Commissioner Bill Cofer, who will lead the commemorative wreath-laying ceremony, honoring merchant mariners.
- North Carolina State Ports Authority (NCSPA), which, along with the Propeller Club of Wilmington, will hold a National Maritime Day Wreath Laying Ceremony on May 22 to honor merchant mariners. Immediately following that event, the NCSPA will hold an employee appreciation event and volunteer opportunity at the Port of Wilmington.
- Port of Beaumont, which participated in the May 16 Seafarer’s Center of Beaumont’s Seaport Saturday celebration, recognizing National Maritime Day & National Transportation Week with live music, booths, demonstrations, river boat rides, a Boat Parade and a wreath-laying ceremony honoring all Navy and Merchant Mariners lost at sea.
- Port Tampa Bay, whose president and CEO, Paul Anderson, introduced guest speaker Bill Johnson, Florida’s Secretary of Commerce and Enterprise Florida’s president & CEO, during the International Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Tampa’s May 19 evening event that included dinner and a wreath-laying ceremony.
- Port of Houston Authority, which tied-in National Maritime Day to highlight the arrival this month of four new Super Post-Panamax container cranes for the port’s Barbours Cut Container Terminal. Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria also referenced National Maritime Day in her remarks at the May 19 Port Commission meeting. In addition, the port is planning a variety of employee activities to celebrate Maritime Day, and students who are part of the Port Authority’s Maritime Education program will be involved in activities at their schools.
- Canaveral Port Authority, which joined the Propeller Club of Port Canaveral on May 16 for the 14th Annual Port Canaveral Maritime Day Commemoration, including a wreath-laying ceremony on the waters of the harbor, lunch and guest speaker Capt. Ed Lanni, 90, who was the first to sail his vessel into Port Canaveral harbor.
- Port of Galveston, which will celebrate National Maritime Day on May 21 with several activities throughout the day, including a morning All Things Maritime Look and Learn event that will be attended by approximately 700 5th and 6th graders from the Galveston Independent School District, and an afternoon National Maritime Day Ceremony to honor the generations of mariners who have served and sacrificed, followed by a Maritime Mixer in front of the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa at the Texas Seaport Museum.
- Port of Baltimore, which celebrated National Maritime Day on May 17 at its Canton Pier 13, including tours of several visiting ships and working boats, a tour of the Consol Energy/CNX coal terminal, an impressive display of Lego model ships and other maritime-related activities, with commemoration ceremonies held onboard the first U.S. nuclear powered ship, the NS Savannah.
- Port of San Francisco, which celebrated National Maritime Day on May 14 by hosting a maritime business networking reception for over 200 top Bay Area maritime decision-makers, representatives and stakeholders, in concert with The Marine Exchange of the San Francisco Bay Region.
- Port of Duluth-Superior will celebrate National Maritime Day on May 27 to accommodate USDOT Maritime Administrator Paul "Chip" Jaenichen. After helping to celebrate the launch of the “Port of Duluth Intermodal Project” on Dock C&D, Administrator Jaenichen will deliver his keynote address entitled, “A Look Towards the Future – Restoring A Vibrant U.S. Maritime Industry,” to a group of approximately 100 maritime leaders and city/state officials at the Maritime Day luncheon hosted by the Propeller Club of Duluth-Superior.
Founded in 1912, AAPA today represents more than 130 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and about 300 sustaining, associate and honorary members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. As a critical link for access to the global marketplace, each year, Western Hemisphere seaports generate about US$9 trillion of economic activity, support the employment of tens of millions of people and import and export about 8 billion tons of cargo, including food, clothing, medicine, fuel and building materials, as well as consumer electronics and toys. As Western Hemisphere populations continue to rise, so too does the demand for goods, services and cruise offerings that depend on our seaports. To meet these demands, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable.
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