Since 1978, the Port of Wilmington Maritime Society (POWMS) has been dedicated to promoting economic development through the support of businesses in and around the Port. POWMS was formed in response to a request from Wilmington’s Mayor William T. McLaughlin to establish an independent base of community support for development at the Port. Today POWMS acts to represent port community interests when communicating with the State of Delaware, who has owned the Port of Wilmington since 1995.
Membership is drawn from both the maritime and business communities and the organization is in a unique position to act as a liaison between port-affiliated businesses and port management. POWMS programs, projects, and initiatives have helped the Port’s business climate in a way that cannot be measured. Our members represent Port tenants, labor, business leaders and other area decision-makers who are potential users of Port services.
Community involvement is an important part of the POWMS mission, and the organization has supported a number of projects that have had a significant impact on the Port of Wilmington and the surrounding community. One of these projects is the Seaman’s Center of Wilmington. This is a non-profit charitable corporation that meets the human needs of all seafarers irrespective of religion, race or nationality. Services are open to those who work on vessels going through the lower Delaware River to provide a place to relax, call home or stock up on personal items and snacks.
Key issues affecting businesses are discussed at board meetings and business roundtables. These roundtables provide a forum to discuss items of mutual interest for those in the Port Community. In the past, rail access, facilities and roadway improvements, and the Pigeon Point Incinerator have been topics of discussion at the roundtables and current events continue to be brought forward for discussion.