Lafourche Parish President, GLPC Executive Director Visit with President to Discuss Needs of Port, Parish

GALLIANO, LA – Greater Lafourche Port Commission’s Executive Director Chett Chiasson met and talked with President Joe Biden on Friday evening at the South Lafourche Leonard J. Miller Jr. Airport in Galliano.

The meeting included numerous parish leaders, including Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson.

The unified message of both Chett and Archie was that our port and parish are steadfast in our desire to recover and come back better than ever following the painful legacy Hurricane Ida will leave behind.

“We talked about hope,” Chett said. “It’s a hope shared by our parish president and I that our best days are ahead of us, not behind us. We have begun our recovery in earnest but need the help of the federal government to expedite that recovery. We were happy the president visited our area and took a keen interest in what we had to say.”

The highly productive meeting in the conference room of the airport lasted an hour, allowing for plenty of time for conversation on a range of topics with President Biden.

When the meeting concluded, Biden gave brief remarks on what he saw from the air and heard from the parish leaders in the room.

Since Port Fourchon services nearly 100 percent of all deepwater energy activity in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, its critical for the port to reopen.

As of 5:45 p.m. today, September 3, it was announced the US Coast Guard is allowing conditional access to Port Fourchon waterways, including Belle Pass, with restrictions for daylight operations only. Vessels in port can maneuver in port waterways. Navigation through the main channel in Belle Pass is one lane only, with no meeting or overtaking in the channel.

“This is a huge step for us and our valued tenants and users of Port Fourchon to begin returning to some sense of normalcy. Through the hard work of so many, including our board of commissioners and staff as well as supporting agencies like the Coastal Protection Restoration Authority with the incredible work they have done building up our coastal defenses, we have done what many thought impossible. We have regained access to our main channel in less than a week following a hurricane that blasted our port with an estimated 12–14-foot storm surge as well as wind gusts in excess of 190 mph,” Chett said.

Chett knows much is left to accomplish, but he feels certain the port and the people that call this place home will rise to the occasion.

“I believe the president can tell just what type of hardworking people we have down here,” Chett said. “He can see it in our faces, and he can sense it in the love we express when we talk about this great state we love.”

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