Community members converged on the Haggin Museum on Feb. 5, to mark the 85th anniversary of the Port of Stockton. On this day, 85 years prior, the S.S. Daisy Gray was the first ship to enter the Port. Artwork depicting the Daisy Gray was on special display at the museum in honor of the event.
“Eighty-five years. I almost said 85 long years, but it’s been 85 very good years,” said Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton). “Look where we’ve gotten in all those years. I mean, [the Port of Stockton] is the biggest economic driver in the region.”
Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs echoed the sentiment. “People always have something positive to say about the Port. That reflects great on all of us.”
Port director Rick Aschieris introduced a video about the Port of Stockton’s efforts to enhance the local barn owl population by setting up 20 nest boxes on the Port grounds. This is one of many environmental stewardship projects being conducted by the Port of Stockton. Maintaining the barn owl population preserves the integrity of levees as the owls prey on rodents which otherwise would burrow into the levees and weaken them. Using natural predators in this way also reduces the need for harmful pesticides.
“2017 was a record year,” said Chairman of the Port of Stockton Commissioners Sylvester Aguilar. “We had 268 ships come through the port. We didn’t just beat it by one; we beat it by 36 ships. In terms of tonnage that comes through there, we had 4.7 million tons. We didn’t just beat it by 10 tons; we beat it by 1 million tons, and that puts the people to work. We’re very proud of that.”
Aguilar also noted that the Port does this without taxing the community.