Baton Rouge LA is a Mississippi River cruise port and the capital city of Louisiana (USA) with population around 230,000 (urban 595,000, metro 830,000). The city is also Louisiana state's political hub and its second-largest metropolitan area (after New Orleans).
Baton Rouge is a major petrochemical, industrial, medical, motion picture, research and growing technology center of Southern USA. Port of Greater Baton Rouge is currently ranked the USA's 10th largest (by annual cargo shipping volumes/tonnage). It is also the farthest port upstream Mississippi River with capacity to handle Panamax cargo ships (DWT tonnage 52,500, LOA length 289 m / 950 ft), width 32 m / 106 ft).
The city owes its historical importance to the strategic site upon Istrouma Bluff. This enabled development of a business quarter that is safe from seasonal flooding. Additionally, the city built a levee system stretching from the bluff southwards. This series of dikes protect the low-lying agricultural areas and the city's riverfront. Baton Rouge was ruled by 7 different governments, including French, British, Spanish (colonial era), Confederate.
Baton Rouge is a college city with Louisiana State University, Southern University, Baton Rouge Community College, and Our Lady of the Lake College. All college students make approx 20% of the city population.
On August 1, 2020, the Louisiana state (Governor John Bel Edwards) signed an agreement with the US Army Corps of Engineers for deepening Lower Mississippi River from 45 ft (13,7 m) to 50 ft (15,2 m). The USD 250 million (~EUR 213 M) project will provide larger cargo ships (Post-Panamax vessels) with access to Port Baton Rouge, Port South Louisiana, St Bernard Port (Chalmette LA), Port NOLA (New Orleans) and Plaquemines Port (at Mississippi's mouth on Gulf of Mexico, near Belle Chasse LA). Project's funding included USD 81 million from LADOTD (Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development / state government organization).
The deepened Lower Mississippi (from the Gulf of Mexico to Port Baton Rouge) has length ~256 mi (412 km). The dredged from the river bed material (first 30 mi, near the river's mouth) will restore ~1462 acres (592 hectares / 6 km2) of critical marsh habitat.