As the newly-expanded Panama Canal prepares for its April 2016 opening, Brendan A. Barry, a partner in the Fort Lauderdale office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, recently led a select business delegation of Shutts clients from the Port Everglades area for a first-hand look at the invitation of Jorge L. Quijano, the canal’s Administrator and CEO.
Mr. Barry, a member of the Board of Directors of the Port Everglades Association, joined the group in a tour of the canal’s new locks, hosted by Manuel E. Benitez, Deputy Administrator of the canal, and Ricardo Diaz, Executive Vice President of Canal for Business Development.
There, the group learned how the $5.2 billion expansion of the canal will directly benefit Broward County, from bringing more business to the area and creating more jobs to promoting programs that preserve and protect the environment around the expanded Port Everglades.
In addition, Mr. Barry joined local leaders and members of South Florida’s congressional delegation on Tuesday, July 7, at Port Everglades Cruise Terminal 18 in a "rollout event" by the Port Everglades Business Development Division focused on essential next steps necessary to commence the deepening and widening of the port’s channels. The delegation included Congresswomen Lois Frankel (FL-22) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23).
The $374-million construction project is designed to accommodate the “post-Panamax” ships traveling through the widened Panama Canal and is accompanied by a host of big environmental initiatives. The plan includes relocating and nearlydoubling the area’s mangroves and wetlands to 16.5 acres and creating five acres of artificial reef.
The July 7 event took place just a week after the Chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, signed the Chief’s Report for the Port Everglades navigation project. With the signing of the report, the corps certified that the navigation project is "environmentally sound and economically beneficial."
Because of its geographic location, Port Everglades is vital to the global supply chain. It is a choice destination for ships heading east through the Panama Canal or west from Europe, Africa and beyond. Because of our entrance channel is the shortest of any U.S. East Coast port, shippers save time and fuel costs. Port Everglades is Florida’s largest container cargo port by volume and the 12th largest in the nation. It is also the No. 2 cruise port in the world for multiday passengers. Port Everglades is the No. 1 U.S. gateway for trade with Latin America.