President E. Michael Bopp
Being selected as president of this very prestigious and historic organization called the Crescent River Port Pilots Association has been both humbling and challenging. I have taken this responsibility very seriously and will represent this association to the best of my ability. As the seasons pass, we will be confronted with new challenges. We are now moving into yet another very high river stage where each pilot's skill will be continuously tested as the waters levels and the velocity of the river’s current increase. We are also entering into another hurricane season, and it has been awe-inspiring to watch the numerous river interests come together as a cohesive team in formulating and communicating a well-thought-out plan to keep the flow of cargo moving safely along the river.
Business on the Mississippi River has been fantastic as we witness growth among almost every category of cargo. The numerous new facilities planned along the river stand as compelling testaments to the growth in waterborne commerce on the river in Southeast Louisiana. We are seeing unprecedented increases in all activity. The cruise industry is growing steadily every year, and Royal Caribbean has plans to add another New Orleans-based cruise ship. The Crescent pilots are safely moving in excess of one million passengers in and out of the New Orleans area, which is a tremendous benefit to the Louisiana tourism industry. Included in President Trump's new infrastructure investment plan, the Mississippi River deepening project to a 50-foot draft comes in at #7 on the list of improvements. If the President’s plan materializes, it will make the entire Mississippi Corridor an economic boom for the State of Louisiana. Every state pilot is trained and prepared to face the inevitable challenges of safely moving ships of increased size and cargo around the clock. Having the Mississippi River, a natural deep draft port, within our state is an economic blessing to every citizen fortunate enough to call Louisiana home.
Yes, onto everything, there is a season --- but we will tackle old and new challenges with a keen spirit and heartfelt determination to get the job done and get it done safely and effectively. I graciously look forward to these new challenges, and I am grateful to be in this position to be a part of this exciting and growing industry.