Sept. 20, 2018

Minutes of the September 20, 2018 Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Ernest Ladd at 12:15 PM. Rebecca Byrne offered the invocation. Larry Sindel led the club in song and the Pledge of Allegiance. Bill Oppenheimer accompanied on the piano. Jeff Zoghby welcomed members’ guests and visiting Rotarians.

Announcements:
• Ernest announced that the Board meeting is to be held today in the Ashland Suite
• Ernest reminded everyone of the Rotary Gala to be held on Wednesday November 7th at Cotton Hall.
• Garrett Williamson thanked everyone for coming to the after-hours gathering at Five. He also said more outings are being planned.

Program: Judith Adams, VP of Marketing, Ala. State Port Authority
Casi Callaway introduced the speaker

The Port of Mobile is a full service port and is the 10th largest in the nation. The port handles approximately 58million tons of cargo annually. The port has invested over $1billion in infrastructure since 2002. Currently there is a $50million expansion of the container terminal underway and a new $60million automobile terminal to be completed in 2019/2020/. As the economy is doing well, the port is seeing record growth, including 20% growth in containerized cargo in 2017 alone. We are now ranked as the number 2 steel port and the 3rd largest export coal terminal in the US. The port generates $22billion in total economic value.

At the request of Casi Callaway, the speaker centered parts of her presentation on the environmental stewardship at the Port. The Port is known as a Green Marine facility which is the largest voluntary environmental certification program in North America. They received their certification in May 2018. It is designed as a framework for the maritime industry to reduce its environmental footprint. Its guiding principals include corporate leadership, minimal environmental impact, develops and promotes voluntary environmental protection measures, integrates sustainable practices and collaborates with government/public on progressive program implementation. The port has met or exceeded requirements in all four environmental indicators including spill prevention, dry bulk storage and handling, environmental leadership and waste management. Additional initiatives include commuting/ride share, conversion to LED lighting, Three Mile Creek/shoreline trash removal and invasive species removal.

The speaker also discussed consideration of widening and deepening the ship channel in Mobile Bay. If approved, the project would deepen the channel to 50/52 feet, add a three mile long passing lane, ease a ben in the channel and improve the turning basin. Benefits include improved vessel safety and efficiency, as well as, provides economies of scale to shippers. A decision is expected in 2019 with construction to begin in 2020. Will take a minimum of three years to build and cost an estimated $387million. The State of Alabama would pay $143million.

Ernest Ladd thanked the speaker for her informative update on the Port and noted that in her honor a donation has been made to the Rotary Children’s Foundation.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 1:05 PM.

Rob Diehl