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Florida's Ports Receive 250 Million Dollar Boost in COVID-Related Financial Assistance

Photo: Danielle Prieur
Photo: Danielle Prieur

Florida’s seaports will receive 250 million dollars in financial assistance from the DeSantis administration to help with COVID recovery efforts. 

The money from the American Rescue Plan and coronavirus state fiscal recovery funds will go to four ports throughout the state including Port Canaveral.

Captain John Murray, CEO of Port Canaveral, says he’s eager to put their over 72 million dollars to work on capital projects that were halted last year.

“When the cruise operation stopped, we stopped building. And essentially that’s what we’ve been doing for the last year is we’ve ceased all of our capitol construction projects and this will really help us get back on track.”

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Murray says the area was decimated when cruises stopped sailing. Almost 80 percent of their revenue stream comes directly from the cruises. But this award gives him hope. 

“This relief funding is incredibly important to Port Canaveral and critically necessary to us and the many thousands of jobs that depend on our success. We remain steadfastly committed to reviving the economic prosperity we’ve delivered for decades to our surrounding community, Central Florida region, state of Florida.”

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Allure of the Seas, along with other ships, have made their maiden test cruises out of the port this week.

Florida’s ports bring in about 117.6 billion dollars a year and employ some 900,000 workers.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.