Bill Johnson, Director of the Port of Miami, presented on the Port of Miami’s Deep Dredge Project to the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Board of Governors meeting held on November 9th. The Deep Dredge is one of the most important projects currently being designed in Florida and has a nationwide significance in supporting international trade and commerce. Now in the planning stages, this project requires the Port of Miami to dredge to at least 50 feet down in its waters, in order to accommodate for the Super Post- Panamax Megaships that will enter the United States after the completion of the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2014.
Presently, the Ports of Norfolk, New York and Baltimore have deepened their waters to meet the required criteria of 50 feet. The Port of Miami has estimated that it has the capability to execute this project by 2014 with the correct funding. This project has received Congressional approval with the tremendous efforts that Bill Johnson has made to advocate for this project. His continued trips to Washington D.C. have made a loud voice on behalf of the Miami Beach community.
“It is estimated that deepening the Miami Harbor would enable the Port of Miami to double its cargo business over the next 10 years and create more than 33,000 new long term well paying jobs,” explained Bill Johnson during the meeting. Currently the Port of Miami is the second largest generator of wealth to Miami Beach through the cruise ship and Cargo container industry. It is also the second generator of jobs with more than 180,000 jobs in South Florida. This Port has a total economic impact of over $17 billion a year, which will continue to grow with this project.
The strategic location of the Port of Miami with its proximity to the Panama Canal will bring even more Cargo ships from South America and Asia, especially from Miami’s largest trading partners China and Brazil. If this project is not implemented, Florida Ports will not be able to enhance their pivotal role in creating economic growth for the community without the right accommodations to the new generation of larger container ships.
Bill Johnson was invited to speak in front of the 52 members of the Board of Governors to gain support from the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce in order to fulfill this Dredging Project to the fullest capacity. The Miami Beach Community can help by supporting this job-creating project for South Florida by contacting Florida Congressman and Representatives to express the importance of this project and all the prosperity it will bring to Miami.