Special to the PRESS
I am writing to let you know that I have a friend, Tonya Renae Roy- Castaneda, who after she saw the amount of trash on the beach that the Spring Breakers left, she loaded up her husband and all of their children (all grade school and under) in her van at 6 a.m. Saturday morning and headed to the Island from Edinburg. They cleaned two miles of trash off the beach. Her children are too young to understand what Spring Break is all about but they did understand the mess left behind and since they love the beach they wanted to go clean. The family spent several hours just picking up trash. It was very windy and cool but they stuck it out. It is too bad the adult Spring Breakers do not have as much respect for our beautiful SPI as Tonya, her husband, and her young children..
Thank you for your time.
Jill Leaders Elizondo
LNG vessels safe; LNG facilities will strengthen maritime industry, RGV economy
I have followed with great interest the recent proposals to bring one or more LNG (liquefied natural gas) production facilities and the vessels that will service them to the Port of Brownsville. Based on my decades of experience in the Texas Gulf Coast maritime industry, this proposal is not only safe but could greatly benefit the maritime industry and the Lower Rio Grande Valley economy. Today’s LNG industry is poised, both in terms of safety and economic potential, to revolutionize the energy trade.
I began my maritime career more than 50 years ago in the Port of Brownsville. I hold unlimited pilotage licenses for the ports of Houston, Corpus Christi and Brownsville and have experience in tug and barge operations, offshore drilling and vessel pilotage. Currently, I am involved in ship simulations to examine the feasibility of LNG operations at the Port of Brownsville.
It is well known in maritime circles that LNG vessels have maintained an incident-free history globally. They are among the world’s newest vessels, are expertly equipped and manned by personnel trained to the highest standards in the seagoing industry.
In the 1950s and ‘60s, the Port of Brownsville served a broad international trade and was nicknamed “the port of northern Mexico.” It played a vibrant role in the Lower Rio Grande economy, with vessels calling on our port to import bananas and pineapples from Central and South America. Exports included cotton, lead and zinc from Mexico and the Rio Grande Valley, with total tonnage exceeding 10 million tons shipped worldwide.
Times and events, container trade, the construction of transportation infrastructure in northern Mexico as well as other factors led to an 80-percent decline in port traffic by the mid-1960s. These events caused an exodus of maritime workers from the Lower Rio Grande Valley area to find employment in other Texas ports – workers who never returned. It is my belief that the placement of one or more of the proposed LNG facilities will be a catalyst for creating a revived local maritime workforce that will complement and stabilize recent port growth as well as stimulate future economic growth.
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