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Ports of Indiana

Community & Environment

Ports are beacons for their communities

Not only do Indiana’s ports create jobs, but they also serve as beacons for their local communities – providing gateways to the world, harnessing the awe-inspiring power of our waterways and bringing to life the ships, cranes, trucks and trains of our youth. Indiana’s waterways have shaped the physical boundaries of the state, and they are continuing to shape its history, its economy, its people and its future.

Delivering Jobs to Our Families

Businesses in Indiana ship approximately 70 million tons of cargo by water each year, employing thousands of Hoosiers in the process. Here are some important numbers related to Indiana’s Maritime Economy:

  • 32 Million: Tons of foreign and domestic cargo shipped on Indiana’s lakeshore per year.
  • 14.2 Billion: Contribution of cargo shipments on Indiana’s lakeshore to the state’s economy.
  • 104,000: Jobs attributed to maritime shipping on Indiana’s lakeshore.
  • $5.4 Billion: Value of Indiana’s annual barge shipments on the Ohio River.
  •  36 Million: Indiana tons shipped on the Ohio River.
  • 17,000: Jobs supported by Indiana’s barge shipments moving between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes through the Chicago Area Waterways system.
  • $1.9 Billion: Annual economic activity of Indiana’s Chicago Area Waterways barge shipments.
  • $7.8 Billion: Indiana’s three public ports’ annual contribution to the state economy.
  • 59,932: Jobs supported by Indiana’s three ports.
  • 43.5%: Indiana’s share of the business revenue generated by Great Lakes shipping in the U.S.
  • $3.9 Million: Amount Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor companies contribute per year in property taxes to Porter County.
  • 18%: Increase of the economic impact of Indiana’s ports between 2009 and 2011.
  • The annual economic impacts of Indiana’s three ports:
    • Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor: 39,516 jobs, $4.9 billion in economic activities
    • Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon: 7,224 jobs, $1.1 billion in economic activities
    • Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville: 13,192 jobs, $1.9 billion in economic activities

To view the full studies, visit the Research page.

Charting a Course for Future Generations

Ports of Indiana recognizes the value of preparing future generations to fill important jobs created by ports and logistics operations. Here are some ways Ports of Indiana is working with young people, promoting important educational programs and helping our youth chart a course for successful careers.

Telling the Story of Our Waterways

  • Port Events in Your Communities: Ports of Indiana participates in community events around the state to share the story of Indiana’s waterways and show how the Ohio River and Lake Michigan contribute to the general welfare of Hoosiers. Come meet our team and learn more about Indiana’s waterways and ports at the Indianapolis 500 Festival Kids DayMount Vernon River Days and Jeffersonville Steamboat Days.
  • Speakers Bureau: Ports of Indiana officials are often asked to speak at various events around the country about Indiana’s waterways, port operations, opportunities for multimodal development and the state’s successful model for growing ports. To request a speaker from the Ports of Indiana, please email us with all pertinent details well in advance of the potential dates and we will do our best to provide a prompt response to your request.
  • RiverWorks Discovery Events: Ports of Indiana is a proud partner of RiverWorks Discovery, a nationally recognized education outreach effort of the National River Center & Hall of Fame located at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. The nonprofit program is dedicated to educating people about the commerce, culture and conservation of the great rivers of America and their watersheds. RiverWorks Discovery hosts educational cruises for schools, provides storytelling and kids activities at community festivals, and brings large-scale models of tugboats, working locks and flowing rivers to schools and family events throughout the country. To view a schedule of events or to invite the RiverWorks team to a festival, school or event in your community, visit www.riverworksdiscovery.org.

Fishing at the Port

A public fishing pier at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor provides for handicap accessible fishing in the bright blue waters of Lake Michigan. The public fishing area was constructed as part of partnership between the Ports of Indiana and Indiana Department of Natural Resources to provide Hoosier anglers with a dedicated area to fish with nearby restroom facilities and a handicap accessible pier. Fishing is not permitted in other areas of the port and recreational vessels are not allowed inside the harbor. Public access to the port and the fishing area may be limited at times due to safety or security reasons.

For safety and security reasons, public access and fishing are not permitted on the docks, barges, equipment, waterfront and other port facilities along the Ohio River.

More information about fishing on Indiana’s waterways is available through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife.