News & Updates: Port Bureau News: August 2020

Captain's Corner: Staying in the Game

Thursday, August 27, 2020  
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Major League Baseball opened at the end of July, and no one is taking me, or anyone else, OUT to the ballgame. I miss the full experience of going to a game – the game close, the buzz and interaction with the crowd, and just having a relaxing beer with friends. Nonetheless, I am committed to supporting our home team. I know that if I want to enjoy the Astros – or any other live sport – in the future, it is important to keep backing the team today.

Right now, I attend the game “virtually” while my Astros Fan Cutout is at every game at Minute Maid Park. I do not know how much fun the Cutout is having, but I feel more connected knowing he is in the stands.  And yes, I do look for my Cutout when the camera pans across the stands. I haven’t caught sight of my Cutout yet but shoot me a note if you do! The players may not have the joy of loud, enthusiastic fans as they adjust to a different format, but I hope the Cutouts remind them we are still pulling for them and looking ahead to rejoining them in person in the seasons to come.

We are also looking ahead to great things for the Houston Ship Channel that will benefit maritime commerce for seasons to come. The U.S. House passed its version of WRDA (Water Resources Development Act) 2020 in July, and the Senate is expected to pass its version by the end of the year. The House’s version includes the Houston Ship Channel Expansion project, but you may remember that part of the channel widening has to be funded locally (the LPP – Locally Preferred Plan).Thanks to the support of our regional delegation, WRDA 2020 includes language that would allow for the federal government to take over the maintenance of the LPP, which we believe is fair due to the large economic benefit this expansion will bring to the entire nation. There are still challenges ahead, and we need everyone to stay in the game to keep the outlook on the bright side.
As I wrap up, I want to thank you for the support you have shown us at the Port Bureau.  Like you, and the Astros, we would prefer the in-person experience.Networking and building collaboration has traditionally been a face-to-face, handshaking practice. We’re learning to play the game on a virtual field, and we appreciate you staying in the game with us. As challenging as it has been, exploring and developing out the opportunities pitched our way via creative use of technology has been exciting as well as productive.

Like the Astros, we will continue to play our best ball for you and your businesses.  Most of all, I am looking forward to getting past this and having a relaxing beer with you when the day finally comes. It will be a winning day at the ballpark for all of us. 


About the Author

CAPT Bill Diehl, USCG (Ret.), P.E. is president of the Greater Houston Port Bureau. Utilizing his 30+ years of marine safety and port operations experience, he guides the Port Bureau in bringing members and community partners together for cooperation and collaboration to improve and advance the port region.