Okay let’s get started. First and foremost thanks to all of you for taking time from your busy schedules to join us. We will officially start the program.
Good afternoon, everyone. I am Eduardo Campirano and I am the port director and CEO of the Port of Brownsville. I am very pleased that each of you took time off from your busy schedules to join us for this truly momentous and exciting occasion.
You know, you are about to bear witness to an important moment in the history of the Port of Brownsville. When I became the port director in 2007 this discussion was ongoing and one of my first ‘to do’s’ was initiate the process to get this project to this point.
There were a lot of bumps along the way and but I will commend the commission for never losing sight. It is easy to get fatigue on a project that you have been working on for years and years and years. But they never lost sight of it and we are here today. So thank you. The process of deepening the channel from 42 to 52 feet is finally about to get started. And it gives me great pleasure to stand before you and be a participant in this significant milestone for the port.
(Campirano then recognized and introduced the Port of Brownsville’s board of directors and other VIPs in the audience).
You know the port has undergone many changes in its 86-year history. The ship channel has actually undergone many modifications since the initial depth of 25 feet. From these very docks Valley produce was loaded onto ships. Items like onions, citrus and cotton. I have memories as a little boy coming here to watch the banana boats coming in, unloading bananas and other tropical fruits like pineapple.
We were known as the shrimp capital of the world. We were also the No. 1 cotton port in the nation. Today, the port is well known for its ship building capabilities, its ship recycling legacy and as a vital multi-modal center for the movement of many commodities, including steel, refined petroleum products and wind energy components.
The channel deepening project that we are getting ready to undertake is the most significant of all these prior channel modifications. We are deepening the channel to 52 feet. And this will continue to sustain the port’s future. It will recapture the port’s glory as being an important hub for the exportation and importation of agricultural projects. We will expand our markets to new cargos and new destinations. Most importantly, we will continue to propel the port’s standing as the major economic engine of the region.
Editor’s Note: The above commentary was given by Eduardo A. Campirano, port director and CEO of the Port of Brownsville. Campirano made his comments at a signing agreement ceremony between the Port of Brownsville and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on July 6, 2022. Phase 2 of the Brazos Island Harbor Channel Improvement Project will see the channel deepened from 42 feet to 52 feet.
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