WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today announced a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Agency to the Water Institute of the Gulf for the development of a Lower Mississippi River SmartPort & Resilience Center (SmartPort). This EDA grant, to be matched with $1.4 million in state funds and $26,000 in local funds, is expected to create 31 jobs, retain 64 jobs, and generate $2 million in private investment.
“With this grant funding, SmartPort is another step closer to reality,” said Dr. Cassidy. “The Gulf plays a critical role in maritime commerce and this collaborative partnership will improve and streamline operations, and ultimately support future job opportunities along the Mississippi River.”
“The Institute is honored to partner with the State of Louisiana, our world-class network of Mississippi River ports, and the Economic Development Administration on SmartPort,” said The Water Institute President and CEO Justin Ehrenwerth. “Through this collaboration, we are developing cutting-edge, crowdsourced solutions that will help us better plan and manage one of our state and nation’s most important assets – the Mississippi River. We look forward to working closely with our many state, federal, and private sector partners to realize the full potential of these exciting, applied research innovations.”