Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Port of Los Angeles Goes Blue

By Karen Robes Meeks

Work has officially begun on the La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator at AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles.

Civic and maritime officials gathered December 11 to kick off the construction of the incubator, considered a key part of AltaSea’s ocean innovation campus.

“The ocean is a frontier for new discoveries that can transform how we live, help us better understand our planet, and create green jobs that can drive our economic future,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This new campus will be a place where scientists, educators, policy makers, and entrepreneurs can work together to accelerate marine research that will set an example for the world to follow.”

Businessman and philanthropist Morton La Kretz is funding the incubator and has supported the La Kretz Innovation Campus in downtown Los Angeles. The downtown-based Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator will have a hand in operating the Blue Economy Incubator.

“I strongly share AltaSea’s vision to create the infrastructure of science, education and business incubation that will help the Los Angeles region thrive in a fast-changing future,” said La Kretz. “The La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator will find and support entrepreneurs developing aquaculture, undersea mapping and other businesses vital to understanding the largely unexplored frontier at our doorstep.”

Port of Olympia Helps Charities

By Karen Robes Meeks

A pair of local charities, Community Youth Services and SafePlace, received more than $8,000 this year, thanks to the support of the staff at the Port of Olympia. The two organizations were selected by the staff, which annually votes on which charities to support.

This year, staff members organized events such as a bowl-a-thon, a crockpot challenge and annual auction and opportunity drawing to help raise the money.

The port highlighted its employees’ charitable efforts.

“We're fortunate to have staff with huge hearts that care about our community and continue to give in many ways,” the release read. “This is only one way Port staff give back. Many staff donate personally to other organizations through dollars and time.”

Coos Bay Grant

By Karen Robes Meeks

Business Oregon has awarded the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay a $50,000 grant to complete a feasibility study that would help expand trade opportunities. The study will look at infrastructure needs and develop a cost analysis for building a multi-use rail that would serve marine terminal operations on the North Spit.

The port, which owns about 400 acres of marine industrial use-zoned land on the North Spit, has the chance to expand its state’s import and export capacity with a marine terminal that has access to rail.

Moving goods through Coos Bay's channel would help Oregon-based shippers get their produce to customers more quickly and economically. According to a EcoNorthwest for Business Oregon study, close to 40,000 40-foot containers of agricultural goods coming from the mid- and southern Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon, and the Oregon Coast are sent to the ports of Seattle and Tacoma to be shipped overseas, creating congestion and lag time.

Pacific Paradise Floated Off

By Karen Robes Meeks

Nearly two months after running aground, the Pacific Paradise has been removed from the reef off Hawaii’s Kaimana Beach, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

For weeks crews worked on removing the vessel, which has grounded October 10. They patched the hull, pumped out water and took off heavy boat parts to lighten its load prior to removal. The weather and challenging environment complicated matters, but crews were able to move the vessel to an EPA-approved disposal site 13 miles south of Oahu in federal waters, according to the Coast Guard.

"These efforts are complex, and with the addition of unpredictable ocean conditions, the position, size and weight of the ship on the reef, and its proximity to one of Hawaii's most populated beach areas, it was important that we all worked together to remove the ship while minimizing risk to people and to the environment,” said Suzanne Case, chair of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Meanwhile, Coast Guard officials are investigating the cause of the grounding, a process that is expected to take several months.