Anchors Aweigh

Houston Ship Channel poised for integral $1 billion expansion

Improvements include widening and deepening the 52-mile ship channel. Photo courtesy of Houston Port Authority

The busiest port in the U.S. is about to get a major upgrade. The Houston Ship Channel is set for a massive $1 billion expansion, the Port of Houston announced.

The new project, dubbed Project 11, is the 11th major improvement that the ship channel has undergone in its more than 150-year history. Improvements aim in part to widen and deepen the 52-mile ship channel, creating two-way traffic flow, and thus, safer and more efficient vessel navigation, according to a press release from U.S. Rep. Al Green.

Project 11 will also aid the local ecosystem. By utilizing dredged materials, improvements will create 20 acres of new bird islands, build three marshes totaling 800 acres, and create more than 300 acres of new oyster reefs supported by reef pads to aid in their survival of natural disasters. Yet another ecological benefit: The expansion and development promises reduced emissions, potentially meaning better air quality for the ship channel and even the Greater Houston area.

Green has been an ardent supporter of Project 11 since its conceptualization in 2010. He arranged for more than $140 million in federal funding by working with the Biden administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and both sides of the aisle in Congress, a press release notes. Current goals are for the project to be completed by 2025.

“I am proud to help advance Project 11 for the host of environmental benefits it offers and because of the critical role it will play in fostering commerce,” Green noted in a statement, adding, “I look forward to advocating for the Port of Houston’s future activities keeping Texas and the City of Houston as a top exporter across our nation and leading competitor around the world.”

Each year, Houston’s port sustains more than 3 million U.S. jobs, supports more than 200 industrial facilities along the ship channel, and generates more than $800 billion in economic value, according to Port of Houston data. Statewide, the ship channel, which extends through the Gulf of Mexico, supports economic activity totaling $339 billion, the Houston Port Authority estimates.

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A version of this article originally appeared on CultureMap.com.

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Building Houston

 
 

Here's your one-stop shop for innovation events in Houston this month. Photo via Getty Images

Houstonians are transitioning into a new summer month, and the city's business community is mixing in networking and conference events with family vacations and time off. Here's a rundown of what all to throw on your calendar for July when it comes to innovation-related events.

This article will be updated as more business and tech events are announced.

July 10 — Have a Nice Day Market at the Ion

Stop by for a one-of-a-kind vendor market - #HaveANiceDayHTX - taking place at the Ion, Houston's newest urban district and collaborative space that is designed to provide the city a place where entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities can come together. Free to attend and free parking onsite.

Have a Nice Day is a creative collective with a goal of celebrating BIPOC makers, creators, and causes.

The event is Sunday, July 10, 4 to 8 pm, at The Ion. Click here to register.

July 12 — One Houston Together Webinar Series

In the first installment of the Partnership's One Houston Together webinar series, we will discuss supplier diversity an often underutilized resource for business. What is it and why is it important? How can supplier diversity have long-term impact on your business, help strengthen your supply chain, and make a positive community impact?

The event is Tuesday, July 12, noon to 1 pm, online. Click here to register.

July 14 — Investor Speaker Series: Both Sides of the Coin

In the next installment of Greentown Labs' Investor Speaker Series, sit down with two Greentown founders and their investors as they talk about their experiences working together before, during, and after an equity investment was made in the company. Attendees will get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most important relationships in a startup’s journey and what best practices both founders and investors can follow to keep things moving smoothly.

The event is Thursday, July 14, 1 to 2:30 pm, online. Click here to register.

July 15 — SBA Funding Fair

Mark Winchester, the Deputy District Director for the Houston District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, will give a short intro of the programs the mentors will discuss. There will be three government guaranteed loan mentors and two to three mentors co-mentoring with remote SBIR experts.

The event is Friday, July 15, 10:30 am to 1 pm, at The Cannon - West Houston. Click here to register.

July 16 — Bots and Bytes: Family STEAM Day

Join the Ion for a hands-on learning experience to learn about tech and robotics and gain insight into the professional skills and concepts needed to excel in a robotics or tech career. This event will be tailored for 9-14-year-olds for a fun STEM experience.

The event is Saturday, July 16, 10 am to 1 pm, at The Ion. Click here to register.

July 19 — How to Start a Startup

You have an idea...now what? Before you start looking for funding, it's important to make sure that your idea is both viable and valuable -- if it doesn't have a sound model and a market willing to pay for it, investors won't be interested anyway.

The event is Tuesday, July 19, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, at The Ion. Click here to register.

July 20 — Perfecting Your Pitch

Join the Ion for their series with DeckLaunch and Fresh Tech Solutionz as they discuss the importance and value of your pitch deck when reaching your target audience.

The event is Wednesday, July 20, 5:30 to 6:30 pm, at The Ion. Click here to register.

July 21 — Transition On Tap: Investor Readiness with Vinson & Elkins LLP

Attorneys from Greentown Labs’ Gigawatt Partner Vinson & Elkins LLP, a leading fund- and company-side advisor for clean energy financing, will present an overview of legal considerations in cleantech investing, geared especially toward early-stage companies and investors. The presentation will cover the types of investors and deals in the cleantech space and also provide background on negotiating valuation, term sheets, and preparing for diligence.

The event is Thursday, July 21, 5 to 7 pm, at Greentown Houston. Click here to register.

July 28 — The Cannon Community 2nd Annual Town Hall Event

Partner of The Cannon, Baker Tilly, has played an integral part in the success of Cannon member companies. Join the Cannon community for The Cannon's 5-year anniversary celebration!

The event is Thursday, July 28, 4 to 7 pm, at The Cannon - West Houston. Click here to register.

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