Nearly 25,000 Port Visitors Took Boat Tours in 2006, and
 Plans Call for Expanding Programs during Port’s 2007 Centennial

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — January 12, 2007 — During 2006, 10,298 students from 95 schools participated in the Port of Los Angeles’ School Boat Tour Program – a 35 percent increase in student participation over 2005 and a new record for the 10-year-old program, which was created in cooperation with the Los Angeles Unified School District.

In addition to the school program, the Port hosted boat tours for more than 14,600 visitors during 2006, including an estimated 9,830 visitors during World Trade Week boat tours last May.

In 2006, 112 tours were provided over a 30-week period to fifth grade students from 95 city schools as far away as Granada Hills and Canoga Park – a 51.5 percent increase in school participation over 2005.  Students participated in the program as a complement to their local history curriculum.

To facilitate more boat tours during its 2007 Centennial Celebration, the Port’s 2007 School Boat Tour Program will be extended by a minimum of six weeks, officially kicking off in February and running through November 15.

“We consider our 2006 school boat tour attendance record a solid lead-in to an even larger program that the Port of Los Angeles will undertake during our year-long 2007 Centennial Celebration,” said Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., the Port’s executive director. “With the largest school district in the nation -- and the busiest port -- we have a great opportunity, and an obligation, to educate our students about the maritime and global trade sectors that are so critical to not only Los Angeles, but the entire United States.”

With a narrated 60-minute boat tour departing from Ports O’ Call Village in San Pedro, the Port’s School Boat Tour Program provides a unique, up-close opportunity for youths to see the daily operations of the nation’s leading container port.

“It was the first opportunity some of these students had to actually ride on a boat. We all enjoyed the tour, and more importantly, enjoyed learning about the functions and importance of the Port," said Claudia Franco, a fifth grade teacher at San Miguel Elementary School in South Gate.

The School Boat Tour Program has grown in popularity as teachers have discovered that the tours add real value to their classroom curriculum.  Teachers have also found that the tours bring to life the concept and scale of global trade as students see shipping containers being loaded and unloaded from massive cargo ships by giant cranes.  Students also experience the diversity of operations within the Port, as well as a myriad of places of interest.

LAUSD schools, other learning institutions and groups or organizations that are interested in Port of Los Angeles boat tours can receive more details by calling Community Relations, Boat Tour Manager at (310) 221-4717.

Celebrating its Centennial in 2007, the Port of Los Angeles is America's premier port.  As the leading seaport in the nation in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 259,000 regional jobs and $8.4 billion in annual wages and tax revenues.  A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars.  At the Port of Los Angeles, high priority is placed on responsible growth initiatives, combined with high security, environmental stewardship and community outreach.  For its industry leading environmental initiatives, the Port received two Environmental Protection Agency awards in 2006.  The Port of Los Angeles — A cleaner port.  A brighter future.