For Immediate Release
May 20, 2005
Oakland, Calif. (May 20, 2005) - National Maritime Day, Sunday, May 22, honors those in the Maritime Industry. It is the day the nation recognizes those who currently serve and have served the nation as merchant mariners – in particular those in the U.S. maritime industry who are responsible for handling America’s imports, exports, domestic shipments and its millions of annual cruise passengers. National Maritime Day is also a day to pay special tribute to the benefits that the maritime industry provides this country and to those who live here.
According to the U.S. Maritime Administration, the U.S. marine transportation system annually moves more than 2 billion tons of domestic and international freight. Nearly every American depends on the maritime industry for the products they use everyday. Others depend on the maritime industry for their livelihoods. According to Pennsylvania-based consultant Martin Associates, the annual economic impacts of U.S. waterborne cargo movements provide: 1.1 million direct, induced and indirect jobs; 3.8 million waterborne export-generated jobs; $44 billion in personal income; $56 billion in transportation service revenue; $729 billion to the nation's Gross Domestic Product; and $16.1 billion in federal, state and local taxes.
The Port of Oakland is the 4th largest container port in the U.S. Through its activities and those if its tenants, the Port generates an annual economic impact of about $7 billion and supports some 44,000 jobs in the region. To better educate the public about maritime operations, the Port of Oakland hosts free harbor tours during the summer. Sharing the Port’s commitment to education, PG& E served as a sponsor for opening day of the Port’s Harbor Tour season (May 19th) and will also sponsor an additional tour date in October. For more information about the Port of Oakland free harbor tours, the public may call the Harbor Tour Hotline, 510-627-1188 or visit the Port on-line at www.portofoakland.com.
President Franklin Roosevelt inaugurated National Maritime Day on May 22, 1933, in commemoration of the first voyage of a steam ship across the Atlantic Ocean. On May 22, 1819, the S.S. Savannah departed for Europe under steam. Although the ship was also rigged with sails, it paved the way for future steamship success. Today, National Maritime Day honors merchant mariners and shipping in general.
The USS Potomac, which resides at Jack London Square, Oakland, was originally commissioned as the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Electra. It was recommissioned in 1936 as a U.S. Navy vessel, USS Potomac, and used by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as his “Floating White House”. The Potomac is fully restored to historical accuracy and designated a National Historic Landmark. The vessel is used for public dockside tours and two-hour history cruises as well as limited private charters, which gives those on board a great view of the Port of Oakland’s maritime operations. Proceeds from the Potomac tours and cruises are used to further the mission of The Potomac Association. For more information about the Potomac cruises call the 24 hour information line (510-627-1502), the contact line (510-627-1215), or visit the web: www.usspotomac.org
Community and Public Relations