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Drew Heaphy
St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District

The Louisiana Port Construction and Development Priority Program and the Affects of the Program on the Port of St. Bernard

The Louisiana State legislature created the Port Priority Program in 1989 as a new source of funding for Louisiana Ports. However, this funding came with a caveat; individual ports had to demonstrate the economic viability of new projects when applying for funding through the Port Priority Program. It is difficult to overstate the importance of ports to the state of Louisiana. One in every eight jobs in Louisiana is port related and the ports make up almost 23% of the dollar amount for the state's goods and services. The ports also account for 5% of the entire personal wealth of individuals residing in-state. At their most basic level, projects seeking funding from the Port Priority Program must be shown to either generate new revenue or maintain existing flows of revenue. Once the amount of revenue is established, other considerations such as amount of jobs created, and benefits to the state will need to be explained. The Port of St. Bernard has been a direct beneficiary of the program and has received in excess of $51 million in grants from the program in the last 20 years.

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