The Port of Corpus Christi received notification of a $2.27 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Congress provided funding for the grant program to the newly created Transportation Security Administration (TSA), now responsible for security.
Port Commission Chairman
Ruben Bonilla said, “The Port of Corpus Christi applauds Congress’ recognition of seaport security issues. Seaports are a vital asset to the U.S. economy. Congress’ action today reinforces the efforts to further secure all modes of transportation, especially our waterways.”
“ The funds awarded today will be used for security enhancements for the Southside and Northside of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel
, known as the Inner Harbor. The Inner Harbor, is one of the port’s most vital economic engines with approximately seven of the port’s major industries,” said Bonilla. “ The Port and Port Industries of Corpus Christi certainly appreciate Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz, and Senator Phil Gramm’s support and endorsement of Corpus Christi’s grant, “ added Bonilla.
“Their efforts demonstrate the importance of securing the Port of Corpus Christi, the 5th largest port in the U.S. and one of South Texas’ greatest assets, especially with our U.S. strategic seaport military designation,” said Bonilla.
“Our friends in San Antonio
, Congressmen Henry Bonilla, Ciro Rodriguez, Lamar Smith and Charlie Gonzalez as well as Congressman Ruben Hinojosa from District 15 of Mercedes, Texas supported us in protecting the Port of Corpus Christi. We appreciate their spirit of regional cooperation,” said Bonilla.
The $2.27 million funds will be used for a number of security improvements including the renovation to offices for a new Security Command
Center; low light / infrared remote controlled TV; surveillance cameras for the entire waterway; VHF– FM radio
system with remote repeaters and secure capabilities; fiber optic links; high intensity security lighting at all public docks, Security Center and military equipment lay-down areas; intrusion / motion sensors at public docks designated for military out loads; security fencing as needed at cargo and oil docks, Security Center and military equipment lay-down areas; finger printing system with remote access to law enforcement for background investigations; “Smart Card” I.D. system for issuance of transportation identification cards; and fully automated access control system at certain buildings and docks; includes swipe cards, barriers, magnetic locks, etc.
More than $92.3 million in grants were given to 51 ports located throughout the nation. In Texas, five other ports received funds: Houston ($2M), Galveston ($375,00), Texas City ($1.73M), Beaumont ($560,00), and Freeport ($85,000). In all, Texas ports received $7.43 million.