St. Bernard Port is located on the Mississippi River about 7 river miles downstream (9 kilometers or 5.9 miles east-northeast) of the Port of New Orleans. St. Bernard Port is about 19 kilometers (12 miles) from downtown New Orleans. The fortunes of St. Bernard Port are tied to the Mississippi River. In 1814, Andrew Jackson and his American troops defeated the British here in the Battle of New Orleans.
In 2000, St. Bernard Parish was one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States with a population of over 67 thousand. However, Hurricane Katrina dealt serious blows to that grown. The estimated 2009 population was about 33.4 thousand people.
The largest shipping corridor in the world is the stretch of the Mississippi from Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico. St. Bernard Port's 11-meter (36-foot) deep draft ship distinguishes the port, and efforts are ongoing to improve the St. Bernard Port infrastructure and its state-of-the-art facilities.
St. Bernard Port and St. Bernard Parish were devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. A 7.6-meter (25-foot) storm surge destroyed the levees and flooded most of the parish. It was over two months before vital services were restored, and schools were not reopened until the 2006-2007 school year.
St. Bernard Port invested $8 million in 2006 to rebuild the port infrastructure that Hurricane Katrina had damaged. In addition to improving roads, warehouses, and sewerage services, St. Bernard Port added capacity for tonnage and vessels. Additional rebuilding efforts at the Chalmette Slip included building a 1.6-acre facility for a lumber company, a one-acre transit shed, and a new building for St. Bernard Port administrative and security functions.