Support our port community campaign

Rally being held tonight to raise awareness and money

Published On: Oct 25 2011 11:31:22 AM EDT   Updated On: Oct 25 2011 12:25:35 PM EDT

Right now people in our area could be drinking coffee from Columbia, eating fruit from Central America or wearing clothes made in China.

But most people never think about how those items got here.

Well there is one group in Jacksonville who really care about how those types of goods get to our area, and they want others to care as well.

'Support Our Port' is a grassroots movement aimed at getting funding for Jaxport expansion.

Jaxport is a family affair for Albrex Cortez. The Transportation and Logistics major hopes to work there, just like his dad.

So all 32 members of his family, along with a group of UNF students, put pen to paper asking for funding for Jaxport.

Cortex said, "By doing this they know the future is bright for us".

So far they've written almost 2,000 letters to lawmakers on every level asking for the $40 million necessary to improve Jaxport and capture new business.

There are a number of improvements that the port needs government funding for, but the biggest is mile point. It restricts when ships can come into the port, and how big they can be.

Once the Panama Canal opens its wider doors in 2015, the port won't be able to handle the larger ships carrying more goods, creating more jobs and bringing in more money.

Paula Nelson, a UNF student said, "People don't know about it, we've got to get the word out. We're bringing the noise for a reason".

Support Our Port will be holding a rally to help raise money and awareness Thursday, October 6th at 5:30 at The Landing. There will be food, live entertainment and special guest Jaxson DeVille as well as special messages from Mayor Alvin Brown and Lt. Governor Jennifer Caroll.

For more information on Support Our Port, go to their website.