Since becoming governor in January 2012, one of the most important tasks my administration has undertaken is the restoration of the Port of Gulfport. A high-capacity, deep-water port facility is a critical component of Mississippi’s international transportation network, and the port supports not just the coastal economy but the financial vitality of the entire state of Mississippi.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the primary focus was mitigation from future disasters. While that is still a major component of the plan, our mutual goal now must be the creation of jobs and providing opportunities for the people of South Mississippi. This port is an enormous economic engine, but when I came into office much work remained to be done.
In July of last year, I directed the Port Commission and the Mississippi Development Authority to develop a plan that would allow for adequate mitigation against future storms, while putting our primary focus on expediting this once-in-a-generation investment into a vital state infrastructure project and creating jobs sooner.
I laid out five objectives a little over a year ago: