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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
NEW ORLEANS—Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today traveled to New Orleans and joined U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, Rep. Cedric Richmond (LA-02), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar, General Services Administration (GSA) Regional Administrator JD Salinas, and New Orleans Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu for the rededication ceremony of the New Orleans Custom House damaged during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“The Custom House is an important cultural and architectural landmark and is a symbol of the resilience of this community and this city,” said Secretary Napolitano. “The Department of Homeland Security is committed to supporting the revitalization and rebuilding of New Orleans and our entire Gulf Coast.”
During her remarks, Secretary Napolitano highlighted the Obama Administration’s commitment to rebuilding the Gulf Coast. The federal government has provided over $5.1 billion to support Gulf Coast Recovery and rebuilding projects such as the Customs House—CBP contributed over $13 million to support the modernization and reconstruction of the Customs House, working with GSA and many other partners.
The U.S. Custom House, built in 1881 and designated a National Historic Landmark, is named after U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the first federal tenant to reoccupy the space after Katrina. The reconstruction project included removal of all materials damaged by Hurricane Katrina and upgrades to the building infrastructure. Current tenants include CBP, Department of Commerce - International Trade Administration, Homeland Federal Credit Union, Federal Maritime Commission, Small Business Administration, U.S. Tax Court, Audubon Nature Institute and GSA contractors.
While in New Orleans, Secretary Napolitano, Senator Landrieu and CBP Deputy Commissioner Aguilar received a tour of the Port of New Orleans via vessel along the Mississippi River, as well as demonstrations of cargo and radiation screening operations. Following the tour, Secretary Napolitano received joint briefings from both the U.S. Coast Guard and CBP on port security, hurricane restoration, and maritime operations.
On Tuesday, August 9, Secretary Napolitano will travel to Bossier City, Louisiana where she will join Senator Landrieu at the Cyber Innovation Center to discuss the Department’s ongoing initiatives to enhance cyber security by promoting innovation and recruiting top talent.
For more information on the U.S. Custom House visit here.
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