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As Prepared: Port of Green Bay – PIDP Award Site Visit Remarks

Wednesday, May 24, 2023



AT Port of Green Bay – PIDP Award Site Visit Remarks



Thank you, Ms. LaMue.   

 Secretary Buttigieg, Senator Baldwin, and distinguished guests. It is a privilege to be here with you to mark the Port of Green Bay’s momentous achievements! And I’ll note that the timing for this event could not have been better!   

 [If no one has mentioned it yet you can say: I am not sure how many of you know this but Monday was our nation’s 90th National Maritime Day—] 

 A day set aside by Congress to celebrate the history and achievements of our nation’s merchant mariners and maritime industry more broadly.  
I mention National Maritime Day on this occasion because there is a direct link to the achievements we celebrate today and those Congress recognized 90 years ago.  

 National Maritime Day was originally focused on commemorating the first transoceanic voyage of the SS Savannah, in 1819, from Savannah, GA to Liverpool, England.  The voyage took just 29 days and 4 hours—a pace exceedingly fast by all measures of the day!  However, in creating National Maritime Day, Congress highlighted not only the remarkably efficient and successful voyage of the vessel, but they also took care to specifically highlight the “material contribution to the advancement of ocean shipping” that the vessel represented. In short, Congress wanted to celebrate the fact that the SS Savannah’s voyage marked America’s technological leadership around the globe. 

 I view the achievements that we celebrate today as part of a long history of American ingenuity and technological leadership, and they are also in keeping with the core tenets of National Maritime Day—in that, the improvements to the Port of Green Bay will most assuredly materially contribute to the advancement of shipping!   

 With this historical context in mind it is my great pleasure to highlight the ways in which the Biden Administration, through the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration will assist in creating the future envisioned for the Port of Green Bay.   

 First, under MARADs Port infrastructure Development Grant Program  MARAD has awarded the Port of Green Bay $10.1 million to redevelop the decommissioned Pulliam power plant site into a state-of-the-art port facility. [As you know???] The project will be Green Bay’s first new port terminal in nearly 100 years!  

Second, through MARADs Marine Highway Program the Fincantieri Marine Group has been awarded a grant for $3.3 million that will help them acquire three types of equipment that will facilitate the safe, sustainable, and efficient transfer of cargoes shipped between the three Fincantieri facilities in Marinette, Sturgeon Bay, and Green Bay. 

 Finally, under MARAD’s Small Shipyard Grants program the Fincantieri Marine Group has been awarded $1.2 million to support the modernization of their graving dock pump at Bay Shipbuilding.  

 These investments will continue to build upon the rich history of maritime activity and shipbuilding in the Green Bay , Wisconsin region, which is vital to both our national and economic security.  

 I look forward, with great anticipation, to the future of this port, to working with Director Haen and his team, and I thank you welcoming me to the beautiful city of Green Bay.