Friday, November 3, 2017

Mexican Tall Ship Calls at Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

To celebrate “The Year of Mexico in Los Angeles,” Mexican Navy tall ship Cuauhtémoc is coming to the Port of Los Angeles and will offer free tours for the next five days on a first-come, first-served basis.The historic ship and its crew of about 200 sailors will be at Berth 46. Built in Bilbao, Spain, in 1982, the Class A, three-masted barque was the first ship of its kind in Mexico and is based in Acapulco. Cuauhtémoc is 297 feet long, weighs 1,800 tons and carries 23 sails with up to a sail area of .6 acres.

Tours will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 3, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 4-7.

Parking is free at the Outer Harbor, located at 3011 Miner St. in San Pedro.

Port of Seattle Focus on Sustainability

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Seattle Commissioners moved forward on an Energy and Sustainability Motion that strengthens the port’s commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions, prioritizes sustainability and looks at new renewable energy sourcing opportunities.

“In addition to reducing the Port’s carbon emissions and working to reduce the competing demands on Washington’s hydropower system, these projects demonstrate how the port can lead efforts to reduce the increasingly obvious impacts of climate change on the environment and our quality of life,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman, who co-chairs the Port’s Energy and Sustainability Committee with Commissioner Courtney Gregoire.

"Today's action reinforces the Port of Seattle's commitment to sustainable economic growth and should encourage expanded innovation in green technology. From biofuels at Sea-Tac Airport to solar panels at Fishermen's Terminal, we look forward to strengthening partnerships to make our region a market leader in the green economy,” Commissioner Gregoire added.

Commissioners authorized port staff to create a Sustainability Evaluation Framework to help reach greenhouse gas reduction and sustainability goals by raising the transparency of project impacts; identify up to four pilot projects that incorporate “environmental and societal components in design and decision-making for Port construction and operations” (The solar project at Pier 69 could be the first pilot project to test the port’s new evaluation framework); and expand its carbon reduction emission goal to include indirect emissions with the goal to be carbon neutral or carbon negative by 2050.

“The port knows that a more prosperous future is also a cleaner, more sustainable one,” said Vlad Gutman-Britten, Washington Director of Climate Solutions. “These policies put the Port of Seattle on a path towards environmental leadership that reflects the values of this region.”

Garibaldi Port Maintenance

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay has deployed its staff to the Port of Garibaldi to dredge its marina and boat launch.

Annual maintenance dredging of navigational channels is conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which performs yearly dredging maintenance to keep shipping channels safe and navigable, but this year’s dredging doesn’t include launch ramps and marinas.

The work poses a financial hardship for smaller ports and has led to “significant amounts of shoaling within marinas along the entire Oregon Coast. The result of this shoaling jeopardizes the ability of commercial and recreational fishing fleets to moor, yielding catastrophic economic impacts,” according to the port.

In 2015, the state of Oregon bought The Laura, an Ellicot-360SL swing ladder suction dredge, to help in that effort and asked the Port of Coos Bay in late 2016 to operate and manage The Laura.

Last year, Port of Coos Bay staff went to the Port of Alsea to finish marina dredging. This year, they headed to the Port of Garibaldi, where vessels are currently sitting on bottom at low tide, preventing them from getting underway when the tide is out, according to the port.

“We are a small but growing port,” said Michael Saindon, Port of Garibaldi Manager. “Keeping the boat basin dredged is critical for the safety of all mariners and can make the difference to our many small business’ ability to be successful. With the help of the Port of Coos Bay and the state-owned dredge, we can keep the port dredged at a reasonable cost and not have to incur debt to keep the port running.”

The Port of Coos Bay staff is expected to return from the Port of Garibaldi on Dec. 21.

“We appreciate the staff’s willingness to spend time away from their homes and families for this project in order to ensure the strength and future of our sister ports,” said John Buckley, Charleston Marina Harbormaster.

Drone Rules Established at Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

Drone pilots must obtain a permit before taking off or landing in the Port of Long Beach Harbor District, according to new rules that went into effect last week.

Pilots have to get a permit from the port’s security division, which involves showing proof of insurance and registration information, plans for takeoff and landing and permission from port facilities where the drone would be flown.

Once pilots get their permits, the port will let its tenants know of drone usage plans by posting it on the website.

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners recently approved the new rules as part of a recent tariff amendment in an effort to strengthen safety and security at the port.

“Our security, risk management, and commercial operations staff worked closely with the Long Beach City Attorney’s Office to develop a permitting process that focuses on the safe usage of drones in the Harbor District, within the allowable legal parameters of the Federal Aviation Administration,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “The approved rules, with requirements for insurance and notifications, should enhance our ability to maintain a safe environment for cargo operations in the port.”

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Merced County, Port of Los Angeles to Collaborate

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Merced County Board of Supervisors has entered into an agreement with the Port of Los Angeles that will pave the way for business development opportunities in the Mid-California International Trade District at Castle Commerce Center and Castle Airport.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for Merced County,” said Daron McDaniel, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “This is a long-term vision and another step in our continued effort to develop Castle, but if we can make it happen, it has the potential to bring substantial economic activity and jobs to this County.”

The agreement, which will include the creation of a joint business development plan and an effort to conduct exporter outreach in the Central Valley, aims to develop Castle into a manufacturers’ hub and leverage their access to BNSF Railway and proximity to highways and the airport.

“We are honored and excited to enter into this agreement and strengthen our trade connection with Merced County, the Mid-California International Trade District and the greater Central Valley,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “This MOA not only paves the way for collaboration, it will give Central Valley shippers more awareness, support and access to global markets through a broad network of high frequency shipping line services.”

Los Angeles/Long Beach Ports to Vote on Clean Air Action Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

Harbor leaders for the nation’s two busiest seaports are expected to vote on Nov. 2 on the 2017 Update of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan.

The Harbor Commission for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will meet to consider approval of the update, which is expected to contain several initiatives that will curb emissions from port-related operations, including the implementation of programs that lower ship pollution and low-to-no emission cargo equipment and vehicles.

The joint meeting will take place at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor Hotel, 601 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro, 90731. The meeting also will be live-streamed at and at

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Everett Seeks Bids for Phase 2 Development

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett will seek bids for the construction of its South Terminal Modernization project, a $36 million second phase development that will strengthen the remaining 560-feet of the 700-foot South Terminal dock structure and upgrade the wharf’s electrical capabilities.

Paired with the double rail siding construction underway, the South Terminal project will enable the port to accommodate future over-dimensional cargo, including aerospace parts for the new 777X coming online in late-2018.

“This is a bold and momentous step toward the goal that the Port Commission set forward nearly two years ago to modernize its Seaport to support the industry shipping trends,” Port of Everett CEO Les Reardanz said. “This is the largest capital project the Port has undertaken since the construction of Mount Baker Terminal in 2005.”

Construction is expected to begin in April 2018 and to be completed by December 2019.

Olympia Citizens Sought for Advisory Committee

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Olympia Commission is in search of residents for its Port of Olympia Citizens Advisory Committee. Formed in 1994, the committee of nine to 12 residents will be tasked with addressing assignments that come from the commission, as well as take part in port programs and projects.

Applicants will be interviewed by the port commission president, the executive director and the committee chair, all of whom will recommend appointments to the commission in mid-December.

Candidates will be selected based on their community and economic development activities, their volunteer, board or committee experience, work experience, as well as their experience or knowledge of the port, in addition to their reasons for serving.

Application deadline is Nov. 13.

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