The U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed to the Port of New Orleans that Southwest Pass, the main deepwater channel from the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, is open and that they don’t anticipate any restrictions to the shipping channel due to the oil spill at the present time.

  “The shipping community in New Orleans is closely monitoring the situation with the oil spill in the Gulf,” said Gary LaGrange, President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans.  “While ship traffic is not affected, we believe it is important to take a pro-active stance to protect the flow of commerce on the Mississippi River. While there is no indication that the spill currently threatens shipping traffic, out of an abundance of caution, we will stay in contact with spill recovery officials and keep our customers and contacts informed.”

 “The Port and the maritime community urge the Coast Guard to take all necessary precautions to ensure the continuous access to the Mississippi River ship channel for all oceangoing vessels,” LaGrange said.