History

The roots of Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District date back to 1699 with the settlement of La Balize. This small community was located near present-day Pilottown, just upriver from the Head of Passes of the Mississippi River. Centered around a French fort, La Balize was established 19 years before New Orleans and was inhabited mostly by hunters and fishermen. Many of these early settlers also served as pilots for ships – a tradition still carried on in the area today by various pilot associations.

The word "plaquemine” is French Creole and was derived from the Atakapa Native American word "piakimin” (their name for a persimmon). A persimmon is an orange-colored fruit resembling a plum – although it is too sour to be eaten unless the fruit is at the peak of ripeness.

Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District was officially established in 1954 as an Agency of the State of Louisiana, as per Act No. 567 of the Louisiana Legislature. The port’s territorial jurisdiction is coextensive with the parish of Plaquemines, Louisiana. The Plaquemines Parish Council is empowered through the 1974 Constitution of Louisiana (R.S. 34:1351-1365) and the Plaquemines Parish Home Rule Charter Section 4.01, A (27): Legislative Powers, as the sole governing authority of the Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District.

The Plaquemines Parish Council serves as the local government, and as the Port Board. The Parish Council conducts Port business under a separate meeting, as the Port Board of the Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District, with members of the Council/Board elected as Port Chairman and Vice Chairman.Two other members of the Council are chosen by the full Parish Council to serve as members of the Port Committee, which makes recommendations to the full Port Board for consideration.

From its humble beginnings in the 15th century, Plaquemines Port has grown to become one of the 15 busiest ports in the United States in terms of tonnage – having moved more than 53 million tons of cargo to points worldwide in 2013.

Today, Plaquemines Port is committed to expanding its operations through development of recently acquired properties and continuously improving the services and business opportunities we offer to the private sector and the people of Louisiana.


   

 

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