The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) has announced its recognition of the fourth annual Maritime Month May 1-31 and National Maritime Day on May 22 to pay tribute to the region’s maritime history and to recognize the hardworking men and women who ensure essential goods and freight reach their destinations.
National Travel and Tourism Week will also be recognized May 3-9 with the theme of “Spirit of Travel,” an important message, the port said, that the spirit of travel cannot be broken during difficult times, especially as the U.S. cruise industry continues to be suspended through the pandemic, the port stated.
With special consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the theme of Port NOLA’s 2020 Maritime Month is “Your Working River, Now More Than Ever.” Since the onset of the pandemic, the port said its cargo and rail operations have continued uninterrupted, with the health and safety of employees and the community as a top priority.
“This year’s Port NOLA Maritime Month is our opportunity to honor the frontline shipping and logistics workers who make it possible for us to remain a global gateway and economic engine during this unprecedented global pandemic,” said Brandy D. Christian, president and CEO of Port NOLA and CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt (NOPB), in a prepared statement.
“Now more than ever, it is important that we recognize the dedicated men and women in the maritime industry, and the work they do every day that contributes to Port NOLA’s economic mission of creating jobs for Louisiana families.”
The Port and Belt will celebrate Maritime Month 2020 a little differently than years past, with the need to shift from public gatherings to sharing messages using remote and digital outreach tools.
Signage throughout the Port NOLA terminals will acknowledge the maritime workforce and digital billboards along the I-10 corridor salute essential shipping and logistics employees for keeping essential goods moving.
Port NOLA and NOPB have also each launched digital learning toolboxes on their respective websites — an example of how the Port is adapting engagement efforts during this time of social distancing.
Port NOLA said further that it has also partnered with WWL-TV for the fourth consecutive year to broadcast 30-second commercials, social media posts and website ads throughout the month touting the contributions of “Your Working River, Now More Than Ever.” On National Maritime Day, May 22, Port NOLA will host WWL-TV’s Morning News Show for a live broadcast to highlight the importance of the work being done on the Mississippi River as a vital and critical economic engine to our state and region.
The port will also honor the men and women who serve in the Harbor Police Department during National Police Week, May 10-16, as well as the firefighters who serve on the General Roy S. Kelley Fireboat for International Firefighters’ Day on May 4.
Throughout May, Port NOLA will invite the public and employees to share photographs of the working river in action. These will be incorporated into a broader social media effort to connect Louisiana residents to “Your Working River, Now More Than Ever.”
Declared by Congress in 1933, National Maritime Day calls attention to America’s maritime heritage and honors the men and women who serve and have served as U.S. merchant mariners. Since 2017, Port NOLA has extended that recognition to a month-long awareness campaign engaging the public about the Port and the maritime industry’s value through a variety of events, promotions and partnerships.