Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Busy October for Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach posted its second-busiest October, according to latest numbers released Friday.

Long Beach handled 688,425 TEUs, 2.4 percent less than October 2018. Imports fell 7.4 percent to 337,062 TEUs, while exports rose 9.8 percent to 131,635 TEUs. Empty containers dipped 0.8 percent to 219,728 TEUs.

“As the trade war lingers, these tariffs continue to impact the US economy and have created uncertainty for the business of importers and exporters,” said port executive director Mario Cordero. “We are hopeful for a prompt resolution of the tariff situation between the US and China. In the meantime, we are moving forward with capital improvements that should bring long-term growth.”

Everett Sees Milestone Container Move

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett and shipping partner Brusco Tug and Barge achieved a major milestone last month in South Everett with the completion of the 1,000th direct container-on-barge aerospace cargo transport between the port’s Pacific Terminal and Mount Baker Terminal, its satellite shipping facility.

This means the “just-in-time delivery” of over 10,000 oversized airplane parts in support of the 747, 767, 777 and 777X airplane production lines.

“I’m proud of this strong partnership and the major impact it has had, and will continue to have, on our local and regional economies,” said Carl Wollebek, Chief Operating Officer for the port. “This logistics accomplishment, paired with the Port’s continued facility investments, represents our long-standing commitment to support the aerospace industry and job growth.”

Oakland Sees Export Increase

By Karen Robes Meeks

Last month, exports at the Port of Oakland rose 10.8 percent more than the same period last year, according to latest statistics released Friday.

The port handled 87,393 TEUs in export containers, much of it heading to Asian markets including its top trade partner China. Meanwhile, imports declined 4.6 percent, but are still up 2.7 percent for the year.

“Our export customers have demonstrated their resilience throughout this tariff standoff,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “For their sake, we hope the conflict is resolved and overseas business can grow even more.”

Oil Spilled in Honolulu Harbor

By Karen Robes Meeks

An oil discharge near Pier 19 in Honolulu, Hawaii, prompted the US Coast Guard to respond to the incident Thursday.

Vessel Kamokuiki contacted Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders Wednesday night about “heavy fuel oil discharged during bunkering operations with a barge.”

The crew quickly “secured the discharge, activated their Vessel Response Plan, and began clean-up operations,” according to USCG.

About 25 bales of absorbent material spanning the vessel’s stern to Pier 22 were deployed. Surrounding the bales were 1600 feet of hard boom deployed by two response vessels.

Cleanup efforts are underway. The bales collected two barrels (about 84 gallons) of oil and skimmers have cleaned up 40 gallons.

No wildlife has reportedly been affected.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Everett to Receive Federal Transportation Funds

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett will receive $15.5 million in federal funds for improvements along Everett’s waterfront, paving the way for future freight transportation.

The money, which comes from the US Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) program, allows the port to buy the land, build utilities, make stormwater improvements and prep the site to support container-on-barge service in the future.

“This grant award is a win-win for the Port of Everett that will clean up a neglected environmental hazard while also restoring the former Kimberly-Clark mill site to support maritime freight and commerce – stimulating Everett’s waterfront economy, and creating hundreds of new jobs in our state’s fastest growing county,” said Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash.

“The port is thrilled to receive the BUILD grant to help purchase the former Kimberly-Clark mill site for maritime development,” said Lisa Lefeber, port CEO and executive director. “We will now be able to put this strategic site back into productive use, creating hundreds of jobs for the Everett-area economy,” she said. “The port greatly appreciates the strong support given to our grant application by Senators Murray and (Maria) Cantwell and Congressman (Rick) Larsen.”

Matson Posts Earnings

By Karen Robes Meeks

Matson, Inc. posted a net income of $36.2 million for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2019 slightly lower than the $41.6 million recorded for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2018, the company announced Thursday.

Consolidated revenue for the 2019 third quarter reached $572.1 million, a drop from $589.4 million reported for the same period in 2018.

The quarter’s results came in as expected, according to Matt Cox, Matson's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Within Ocean Transportation, our China trade lane service performed well, but we saw continued weakness in our Hawaii market and experienced softer-than-expected volume in our Alaska service,” he said in a statement. “Within our Logistics segment, we continued to perform well with positive contributions to operating income from nearly all of the service lines."

The company maintains its 2019 consolidated operating income outlook, “given the performance year-to-date and our expectations for our businesses in the final quarter of the year,” Cox said.

“As we near the end of this transition year with Lurline expected to enter service this quarter, we take a significant step towards realizing our previously-mentioned approximately $30 million in financial benefits in 2020, when compared to 2019, driven primarily from the reduction in Hawaii fleet deployment to nine vessels," he said.

LA Cargo Down

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles handled 770,189 TEUs last month, falling 19.1% below its 2018 October record-breaking figures, according to numbers released Thursday. Imports dropped 19.1% to 392,768 TEUs and exports fell 19.3% to 140,332 TEUs.

The drop was not unexpected. Last year’s October numbers were significant in part because shippers were rushing to import cargo before tariffs took effect.

“With 25% fewer ship calls, 12 consecutive months of declining exports and now decreasing imports, we’re beginning to feel the far-reaching effects of the U.S.-China trade war on American exporters and manufacturers,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We expect soft volumes in the months ahead and with the holiday season upon us, less cargo means fewer jobs for American workers. We need a negotiated settlement and the tariffs lifted.”

USCG to Partner with University of Hawaii

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard and the University of Hawaii at Mānoa have inked a memorandum of agreement as part of the Coast Guard's Minority-Serving Institutions Partnership Program, the agency announced Monday. The agreement allows both parties to increase opportunities for students.

"This agreement reflects a new chapter in the strong bond between the Coast Guard and University of Hawai’i. We are honored to be a part of the University of Hawai’i ‘ohana and look forward to greater engagement with students and faculty. Working together, we offer students and faculty an opportunity to learn about the Coast Guard and our important work in the Blue Pacific, and the Coast Guard seeks to strengthen our diverse and inclusive workforce through remarkable student scholarship programs,” said Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, commander, Coast Guard 14th District. UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno said the college is very excited about this partnership and the opportunities it will provide students.

“That includes additional options for financial assistance, academic choices and amazing career opportunities,” he said. “The agreement also offers research opportunities for the university and the Coast Guard to explore.”

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

USCG Healy Returns to Seattle

By Karen Robes Meeks

After three months at sea, the 420-foot US Coast Guard Cutter Healy recently came back to its Seattle home base. Crewmembers went to the Arctic to support Coast Guard operations and various National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Office of Naval Research missions.

"During our deployment, we successfully transited 14,000 nautical miles and spent 50 cumulative days above the Arctic Circle, reaching as far north as 81 degrees north latitude,” said Capt. MaryEllen Durley, Healy’s commanding officer. “As the Coast Guard's sole Arctic icebreaker, we forged new relationships, trained new Arctic sailors, and conducted high latitude research that will help forecast the impact of seasonal ice formation critical to maintaining the Arctic maritime domain.”

Los Angeles Expects to Exceed Emissions Goals

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles is reaching and surpassing its 2023 targets for curbing pollution as cargo volumes soar, according to the recent release of its 2018 Inventory of Air Emissions Report.

Los Angeles met its 2023 goal to lower its diesel particulate matter in 2012 (77%), its SOx in 2014 (93%), and its NOx (59%) in 2017, the report read. The port also continues to surpass its 2020 goal of curbing the health risk related to port operations first reached in 2014.

The port is pushing to lower GHG emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% by 2050.

“Even as cargo has increased 26 percent since the baseline year of 2005, we’ve sustained the remarkable clean air gains we’ve made since then,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Our goal remains getting to zero emissions, which is why we’re focused on working with our partners on operational efficiencies and next-generation near-zero and especially zero emissions solutions, so our port, community and environment can thrive together.”

For more on the report, visit https://kentico.portoflosangeles.org/getmedia/0e10199c-173e-4c70-9d1d-c87b9f3738b1/2018_Air_Emissions_Inventory.

Seattle Meeting to Discuss Marine Noise

By Karen Robes Meeks

Leading maritime agencies gathered in Seattle recently to discuss efforts to curb underwater noise that is harming endangered Southern Resident killer whales.

Representatives of the Port of Seattle, Port of Tacoma, Northwest Seaport Alliance, Washington State Ferries, NOAA, and the Puget Sound Partnership teamed to bring about a workshop that could help lower the noise pollution for the orcas, who have a hard time hunting and communicating underwater because of the noise.

“It was heartening to have such a broad range of expertise in the same room committed to tackling the critical issue of orca survival in the Salish Sea,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner and Northwest Seaport Alliance Managing Member, Fred Felleman, who studied killer whales in graduate school and championed the workshop. “As we know from the study of cooperative hunters such as wolves, lions, and orcas, we can accomplish great things when we work together, and the recovery of our iconic orca hinges on our collaboration.”

The workshop addressed various matters, such as “acoustic monitoring, real-time notification of orca presence to mariners, vessel operations, and technology and innovation,” the port said. Officials hope these discussions will lead to agreements by mid-2020.

Friday, November 1, 2019

USCG James Crew Participate in Drug Interdiction

By Karen Robes Meeks

Crew members of the US Coast Guard Cutter James were part of a major effort to seize thousands of pounds of drugs in international waters of the Caribbean Basin and the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the Mexican, Central and South American coasts. Cutter James will unload approximately 28,000 pounds of seized cocaine with an estimated value of $367 million and about 11,000 pounds of seized marijuana valued at $10.1 million at Port Everglades.

The Coast Guard conducted 18 interdictions of suspected drug smuggling vessels accounting for the seizure of 19 tons of narcotics with a street value of more than $375 million. The Cutter James crew conducted six of those interdictions resulting in 7,022 pounds of cocaine and 4,085 pounds marijuana.

“These drugs will not reach Main Street USA due to the efforts of the James crew and other Coast Guard cutters involved in these interdictions," said Capt. Jeffrey Randall, Coast Guard Cutter James commanding officer. "The James crew conducted counter-drug operations with the cooperative efforts with regional partner nations, like Columbia, Costa Rica and alongside the agencies involved in Operation Martillo to stop the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States. Due to this cooperative effort, we maintain an offensive against criminal networks and criminal organizations."

Seattle Seeks Cruise Terminal Input

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle is seeking input on a proposed cruise terminal at Terminal 46.

The public will have until 4 p.m. on Nov. 13 to weigh in on the proposal, which calls for the development of a new 29-acre cruise terminal that would meet the growing demands of the port’s cruise business.

A pair of EIS Public Scoping Meetings/Open Houses, which will provide an opportunity to hear more about the project and weigh in on its potential environmental impact, are scheduled for the coming weeks. Feedback will be gathered and considered for the project’s SEPA analysis.

The first meeting will take place on Nov. 4 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the King Street Ballroom at Embassy Suites at Pioneer Square, 255 South King Street in Seattle, Wash. The second gathering will be on Nov. 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at The Foundry, located at 4130 1st Avenue S in Seattle.

Written submissions can be sent by email SEPA@portseattle.org or mail to Laura Wolfe, Port of Seattle, Pier 69, 2711 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121.

Stakeholders can also go online to the Terminal 46 Cruise Development website at http://www.T46cruise.participate.online and click “Participate” to provide input.

Port of Long Beach Promotes Tomley

By Karen Robes Meeks

Heather Tomley is the new Managing Director of Planning and Environmental Affairs for the Long Beach Harbor Department. The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners recently voted to promote Tomley, who had been serving as acting managing director for the last 12 months while the port carried out a national search for the job.

Tomley was hired at the port in 2005 as an Environmental Planning Associate before being elevated to Environmental Specialist, then Senior Environmental Specialist in 2006, Assistant Director of Environmental Planning in 2008 and Director of Environmental Planning in 2014. Before joining the port Tomley worked for SCS Engineers as a Project Scientist and as an Air Quality Specialist for the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District.

In her new role, Tomley will be tasked with overseeing the port’s Environmental Planning, Transportation Planning and Master Planning divisions. The job is a high profile one at the port, which is ramping up its efforts toward zero emissions operations.

“Heather has deep experience creating and managing cutting-edge projects that have dramatically improved air quality and earned crucial industry cooperation, such as the Clean Trucks Program and the Technology Advancement Program,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “The Port will benefit from her skill set and industry relationships while it engages in long-term planning efforts like the Port Master Plan and San Pedro Bay Rail Study Update, and as it proceeds in earnest on its most ambitious and far-reaching goal ever – to achieve zero emissions cargo operations.”

Port of San Diego Honored by Environmental Professionals

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego recently netted a pair of prestigious awards from the San Diego chapter of the Association of Environmental Professionals.

The association gave its Outstanding Technical Report Award to the port’s Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment and Coastal Resiliency Report, which looks at how the port plans to address projected sea level rise and studies its environmental and financial impacts.

The port also teamed up with the California State Lands Commission for the San Diego Ocean Planning Partnership Preliminary Assessment Report, which earned them the association’s Outstanding Public Involvement Award.

“As an environmental champion of San Diego Bay and its tidelands, the Port of San Diego is committed to making sure these public lands will be protected so that they may be enjoyed by future generations,” said Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners, Garry Bonelli. “Port staff did an exceptional job ensuring that the Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment and Coastal Resiliency Report reflected this. Additionally, port staff and State Lands Commission staff have underscored the importance of public involvement to help understand ocean planning. The port is honored to be recognized for its efforts on both of these reports.”

For more information on the port’s Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment and Coastal Resiliency Report, visit portofsandiego.org. Additional information on the San Diego Ocean Planning Partnership Preliminary Assessment Report can be found at sdoceanplanning.org.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

San Diego Seeks Park Input

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista are asking stakeholders to weigh in on the future Harbor and Sweetwater Parks at a final Design Workshop scheduled for Nov. 18, 2019.

Combined, those two parks will represent over half of the new park space planned for the Chula Vista Bayfront development.

Following the completion of the designs, staff will perform an environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) before coming back to the board to seek authorization for Coastal Development Permits sometime next year.

The Design Workshop will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the City of Chula Vista Public Library Civic Center Branch, 365 F Street in Chula Vista.

Visit portofsandiego.org/chulavistabayfront for more information on the development.

Clean Truck Program Wins Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s Clean Truck Program recently earned the 2019 Environmental Improvement Award from the American Association of Port Authorities.

The voluntary Clean Truck Program stems from one of the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy’s initiatives. As of Jan. 1, 2019, all trucks that enter the NWSA’s container terminals must have engines that are 2007 and newer.

“With newer engines emitting 90 percent less diesel particulate matter (DPM), the program has reduced the pollutant load on our neighboring communities by 33.4 tons of DPM per year,” according to the port.

The award, which highlights the environmental activities of ports, considered environmental benefits, port involvement, creativity, results, cost effectiveness and concept transferability.

USCGC Alex Haley Finishes Bering Sea Deployment

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley recently came back to Kodiak, Alaska, following a 40-day deployment throughout the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. During that period, they patrolled 5,000 miles and conducted 13 at-sea boardings.

The crew of the 282-foot Medium Endurance cutter were deployed at the start of the 2019 Red King Crab season. They took part in several search and rescue operations, among them the medical evacuation of a crewmember from fishing vessel Alaska Victory after he was “exposed to a release of toxic ammonia refrigerant Sept. 28,” according to the USCG. The crew also went to St. Paul, Alaska, cleaned up a local lakefront and visited with community elders.

“The opportunity to patrol the Bering Sea during the highly visible Red King Crab season was tremendously rewarding and uniquely challenging,” Cmdr. Benjamin Golightly, Alex Haley’s commanding officer. “Between the rapid operational pace of fisheries boardings, the notorious unpredictability of the weather, and the fact that search and rescue cases can occur at any time, there was no shortage of challenges to be met by the crew. However, through their perseverance, high spirits, and unwavering dedication to service, Alex Haley's crewmembers exemplified professionalism and operational excellence in all they did. The product of their efforts can clearly be seen in the success we had this patrol.”

Hawaii Search and Rescue Exercise

By Karen Robes Meeks

A joint search and rescue exercise recently took place near Kapalua, Maui. The US Coast Guard, Maui County Fire Department, Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services, Maui County Emergency Medical Services, American Medical Response and Maui County Police Department all participated in the mock operation.

The two-day event featured a planning, safety and communication meeting, a resource open house and a full-scale open-water exercise that simulated a report of an overdue recreational vessel with two people in the water a mile offshore.

“The robust participation from our Maui partners and Coast Guard units made this exercise not only possible, but an overwhelming success,” said Cmdr. Nicholas Worst, chief of response, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “The collaboration and already strong working relationships were enhanced through the sharing of best practices to ensure real world events are well coordinated to promote responder safety and increase the probability of success while searching for those in distress.”

Friday, October 25, 2019

Port of Everett to Acquire Former Mill Property

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, commissioners at the Port of Everett moved forward on plans to acquire 77 acres from Kimberly-Clark Corporation for $33 million.

The commission voted to authorize Port CEO Lisa Lefeber to engage with Kimberly-Clark on a Purchase and Sale Agreement, which includes 58 acres previously used as a former mill and 19 acres of tidelands. The port anticipates closing the sale by the end of this year.

The agreement calls for Kimberly-Clark to do upland cleanup work and remove crushed materials using the state of Washington’s Department of Ecology’s approved methods. According to the port, the company will also give the port a $17 million credit “to address environmental impairments in the 12 acres of tidelands in the East Waterway.”

For its part, the port will provide Kimberly-Clark clean fill material to backfill the site after the crushed material is taken away. The work is set to start no later than April 1, 2020 and to be completed by the end of 2020. No current site leases will carry forward with the acquisition.

“I am very pleased the Port and Kimberly-Clark were able to reach a negotiated agreement,” Lefeber said. “Our respective teams did amazing work in a short amount of time to make this very complex land transaction come together. This property is critical to support our working waterfront for decades to come, and we will continue to work expeditiously to restore family wage jobs to the site, enhance trade and ensure compatible land use with Naval Station Everett.”

Bellingham Addressing Storm Damage

By Karen Robes Meeks

Over the next several weeks, the Port of Bellingham will be fixing three shoreline areas that were ravaged by a massive storm. Some of the repair will be happening at night during low tide.

The work includes “armor rock removal and stockpiling, rubble removal, and rock re-placement along the identified shoreline areas, with some limited asphalt repairs at the Squalicum and Fairhaven locations,” according to the port.

Repairs are scheduled to take place from Oct. 22 to Nov. 4 at the Squalicum Location, Nov. 5–14 at the Hilton location, and Nov. 15–30 at the Fairhaven location.

Coos Bay Tunnel Project Moves to Phase Two

By Karen Robes Meeks

The first phase of the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay’s railroad tunnel rehabilitation project has been completed. The $19.9 million project, which began in May 2018, is scheduled in two phases. The initial phase – which cost $5 million – called for finishing structural improvements to ensure the long-term safety and reliability of nine tunnels along the Coos Bay Rail Line, a significant mode for cargo transport in the region.

Meanwhile, work on the second phase has already begun, which entail improvements to drainage and track in six tunnels. Phase Two is expected to be done in the first quarter of 2021.

“Thanks to the financial support from federal and state agencies and hard work of our contractors, Phase I of the Tunnel Project was a success,” said Project Manager John Buckley. “We are excited to have begun Phase II and see this project to completion for the benefit of our rail customers and regional economy.”

Port of Seattle Partners with WeWork

By Karen Robes Meeks

Washington’s first maritime accelerator to assist and develop local maritime firms has been launched by partners Washington Maritime Blue, the Port of Seattle and WeWork Labs.

“The Port of Seattle is committed to investing in maritime innovation, drawing from the diversity of our region’s expertise, to create jobs of the future that fuel a thriving economy which advances our understanding and protection of the marine environment and all those dependent on it,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman. “I look forward to being inspired by the first round of applicants for the accelerator that I’ll be reviewing in my capacity as Vice President of the Port of Seattle Commission and Board Member of Maritime Blue.”

WeWork Labs is seeking applicants who are interested in creating solutions that help the maritime economy. Applications need to be submitted by Nov. 18.

The Maritime Blue advisory committee will review and choose 10 startups that will take part in the first accelerator cohort, set to begin in January 2020.

Chosen companies will benefit from a four-month intensive programming from WeWork Labs\. They will be housed at WeWork Labs and get access to WeWork Labs’ global network of mentors and advisors.

In April, the participating startups will pitch their ideas to the public, investors and government officials.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

San Diego to Test LED Lighting

By Karen Robes Meeks

Efforts to illuminate the San Diego-Coronado Bridge just got brighter.

The Port of San Diego recently received approval from the California Coastal Commission to temporarily put in LED lights on four of the bridge’s mid-span piers for a one-week test to be performed between dusk and midnight, the port confirmed.

The test is part of a fact-finding mission that will be needed to commence the project’s environmental review and hopefully lead to a permanent bridge lighting display.

“Our vision for this project is to inspire and connect people to San Diego Bay through the fusion of art and technology,” said Commissioner Marshall Merrifield, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “We’ve achieved another important milestone in this project that, if ultimately approved, would transform the San Diego-Coronado Bridge into a signature, iconic artwork for our urban landscape.”

Port of Seattle Open House

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle will host the first of two community open house events on October 22. Attendees will have the opportunity to look at the port’s budget for the upcoming year and its five-year capital development plans for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and the Maritime and Economic Development divisions

According to the port, the plans outline the port’s blueprint to further invest in infrastructure, maximizing efficiency and service to benefit the economic and environmental vitality of our region.

An initial plan on how to pay for the Maritime and Economic Development division capital program will also be presented to the commission. The event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the port headquarters located at Pier 69, Atrium, 2711 Alaskan Way in Seattle, Wash. Attendees are asked to sign in at the front desk.

Everett Dredging Underway

By Karen Robes Meeks

Maintenance dredging of the Everett Harbor channel and Snohomish River got underway this month.

The US Army Corps of Engineers is partnering with Port of Everett on the $1.5 million project. The work involves the dredging of 60,000 cubic yards of material from the upper channel to be placed on a nearby upland site, as well as 40,000 cubic yards from the lower channel. The latter will be put on the west shore of Jetty Island, an island made of sediment from the Snohomish River and owned by the port. The work should be completed by the end of the year.

Olympia Seeks Citizen Advisors

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Olympia Commission is looking for a few residents to serve on the port’s Citizens Advisory Committee, a volunteer group of nine to 13 people who meet every month to assist and lend guidance to commissioners on projects and programs. The committee was formed in 1994. Interested Thurston County residents must submit their application by Nov. 3.

Applicants will be chosen based on “community and economic development activities; volunteer, board or committee experience; work experience; experience or knowledge of the port; and reasons for serving,” according to the port.

Applications will be reviewed by the Port Commission President, Executive Director and the Chair of the Citizen Advisory Committee. Recommendations to the commission are expected to be made in mid-December.

Visit https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/portofolympia to apply. For more information, visit http://www.portolympia.com/90 or call 360-528-8014.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Fake Filters Seized

By Karen Robes Meeks

Approximately $224,000 worth of counterfeit refrigerator water filters were recently seized at the LA/Long Beach Seaport by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in partnership with import specialists assigned to the Machinery Center of Excellence and Expertise.

The 5,200 fake filters were found while CBP officers examined a Chinese shipment bound for the state of Washington and Machinery Center import specialists confirmed that the filters violated Brita, GE, Frigidaire, PUR and NSF certification protected trademarks.

“Protecting our communities from untested and potentially harmful imports is paramount for CBP,” said CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles, Carlos C. Martel. “The risk is the consumer inadvertently may be exposing their family to drinking water that is not up to industry standards.”

According to a study conducted by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, counterfeit refrigerator water filters pose a serious risk to consumer health and safety. The use of fraudulently copied trademarks, branding and misleading claims make the filters look legitimate and while the water may look, smell or taste fine, the counterfeit filters that were tested show that they fail to remove lead from water. Further, many of the filters tested introduced harmful chemicals into clean water.

“It is incredibly difficult for consumers to spot counterfeit filters – and they are widespread online,” said Jill A. Notini, spokeswoman for Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.

“We are grateful that CBP officers were able to stop this large shipment of counterfeit water filters from finding their way to online markets,” she said, adding that “5,200 counterfeit filters equates to more than 33 million glasses of potentially unsafe water that could have been put into the hands of Americans across the country.”

Long Beach Sees Best September Ever

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach posted its best September in history last month, handling 706,956 TEUs of cargo, according to the port’s latest numbers released Wednesday.

That represents an increase of 0.8% compared to September 2018.

Imports dipped 0.7% to 354,919 TEUs, exports increased by 1.4% to 123,215 TEUs and empty containers were up 2.9% to 228,822 TEUs.

“We saw increased ship calls in September,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We’re ready to provide high-quality service to all vessels, though we continue to advocate for an end to the cycle of tariffs to give American businesses the certainty they need to thrive. I’d like to thank our terminal operators, the ILWU, ocean carriers, beneficial cargo owners and our many supply chain partners who made this record result possible.”

Pace-wise, the port is trailing a bit. It handled 1,992,728 TEUs in the third quarter of this year, 3.7% less than the 2018 third quarter when the port posted record-breaking numbers.

Still, Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal said the port will “have one of its busiest years ever, despite the challenges related to the trade war.”

“Top-notch customer service is our calling card, and we’ll continue to collaborate with our customers to enhance their ability to move cargo faster and more reliably during these challenging times,” she said.

Vancouver USA Commissioner Awarded

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Vancouver USA Commissioner Jerry Oliver was presented with the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association Distinguished Service Award on Oct. 9.

Oliver, who was first elected to the board in 2007, was chosen for “his dedicated service to the maritime industry, including leadership on port and navigation issues that impact the economic health of Southwest Washington and the entire Pacific Northwest.”

“Commissioner Oliver has been a strong advocate for the Columbia Snake River System, particularly the Columbia River Channel Deepening Project and the jetties at the Mouth of the Columbia River,” said PNWA Executive Director Kristin Meira. “We are proud to honor his 12 years of dedicated service to the Port of Vancouver and the region.”

The award comes at the end of Oliver’s involvement on the board. Earlier this year, the commissioner announced he would not seek a third term and would step down when his term expires Dec. 31.

Bellingham Reopens Waterfront Park

By Karen Robes Meeks

After an initial postponement due to rain, the Port of Bellingham has reopened the Waterfront Bike Park to the public. The opening was delayed so that crews could fix unexpected erosion caused by massive rain, repairs that couldn’t be made until the track dried out. The park, a collaboration between the port and Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition, features a large pump track and singletrack sidewalk on an uneven gravel surface in addition to picnic tables, according to the port. The bike park is part of a long-term plan to develop a city park that stretches through the middle of the downtown waterfront.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Los Angeles Box Numbers Down

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles handled 779,903 TEUs in September, 2.7 percent less than the same period last year, according to the latest statistics.

Imports fell 2.9 percent to 402,320 TEUs and exports dropped 11 percent to 130,769 TEUs year over year. This represents the 11th consecutive monthly decline of exports. Meanwhile, empty containers rose 2.9 percent to 246,814 TEUs.

These numbers are compared against a record breaking 2018 and an all-time record for September.

“The ill-advised U.S.-China trade war continues to wreak havoc on American exporters and manufacturers,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We've seen declining exports for 11 consecutive months while our fastest growing market segment is exporting empty containers back to Asia. It's likely we'll see softer volumes in the fourth quarter. We must have a negotiated settlement of the trade war as it is beginning to affect the more than 3 million jobs in the US that are tied to this port complex.”

Port of Seattle Extends Industrial Area Housing

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle’s industrial-zoned Tsubota site will continue be a homeless encampment through November 2020, according to the port commission’s recent decision to extend its lease with the city of Seattle for one year.

“The Port of Seattle is pleased to partner with the City of Seattle and the community in addressing the homelessness crisis in our region,” said Port Commission President Stephanie Bowman. “We hope extending this lease for another year will help more people get shelter and the help they need so they can transition successfully into permanent housing.”

“The Human Services Department is grateful to the port for its support of Interbay Safe Harbor Village,” said Seattle Human Services Department Director Jason Johnson.

“Since 2017 the partnership has made lasting, positive impacts on the lives of over 324 people served, or 277 households, as well as on the surrounding community. HSD is honored to continue this partnership and provide life-saving services and shelter to assist people in finding paths to permanent housing,” he added.

Coast Guard Responds to Diesel Spill

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the US Coast Guard responded to a diesel spill in West Bay Marina near Olympia, Wash., following the sinking of 92-foot recreational yacht King's Way.

The agency enacted the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and asked Global Diving and Salvage to remove the spilled diesel, and recover any leftover pollution within the yacht, which had a reported 1,200 gallons of fuel.

Officials from the Incident Management Division, Washington State response personnel from Department of Ecology, Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Port of Olympia were also on hand to curb the environmental impact of the spill.

Sham Shoes Seized

By Karen Robes Meeks

About 14,800 pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes were seized by US Customs and Border Protection agents at the LA/Long Beach Seaport with the help of officials at the Apparel, Footwear and Textiles Center of Excellence and US Homeland Security Investigations special agents assigned at the Trade Enforcement Coordination Center.

The shipment of shoes that came from China in two cargo containers were misdeclared as “napkins.” They were counterfeits of the brand’s Air Jordan and Air Max shoes, according to CBP.

“Intellectual property theft is a crime that leads to lost revenue for American industry, a loss of American jobs, and often poses a threat to public health and safety,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “CBP is the frontline that protects American ingenuity, without any doubt, one of the most valuable assets of our country.”

Friday, October 11, 2019

Camas-Washougal Seeks Input on Development

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Camas-Washougal is asking the public to weigh in on three preliminary waterfront concepts. “The community’s input is highly valued and desired in order to create a multi-faceted public epicenter, with design and programmatic elements that will not only boost the local economic engine, but also amplify the unique amenities of the site to attract visitors, customers and users from around the region,” the port said. The next opportunity to comment will be at a Special Meeting/Workshop on Oct. 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Port conference room. The workshop will feature three concept options with their respective PBS engineering and environmental data. The board is expected to approve a final Waterfront Master Plan Phase 1 concept on Dec. 16. Visit http://www.parkerslandingwaterfront.com for more details on each concept.

Logistics Facility to Break Ground at Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland and CenterPoint Properties broke ground on CenterPoint’s new 466,830 square-foot logistics facility at the former Oakland Army Base. Viewed as a centerpiece project within the port’s Seaport Logistics Complex, the new facility is expected to decrease truck travel and offer living-wage jobs for Oakland residents. The development represents more than $60 million in investment in Oakland’s future. “The facility will be built to LEED standards and be prepped for electric vehicle charging stations,” said the port. “CenterPoint worked with the Port and the community to sign a groundbreaking jobs policy that prioritizes employing workers from nearby neighborhoods to work in living-wage warehouse jobs. This will provide a pathway to good jobs and help curb economic inequality.”

High School Students Win Clean Air Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach and Academy of Global Logistics’ education outreach program linking Cabrillo High School students to a project creating non-polluting, zero-emissions cargo-moving technology recently netted a Clean Air Award from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The Zero-Emissions Transformation Capstone Project allowed 60 students to study the Commercialization of POLB Off-Road Technology project, which tests zero-emissions cargo-handling equipment at two terminals in Long Beach. “Connecting our Academy of Global Logistics students together with our work on zero-emissions technology was so gratifying. I’m doubly pleased to see the students and the Port recognized for this groundbreaking collaboration,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal. “Our education outreach programs aim to show our local students the universe of career opportunities in international trade and goods movement, and I think we’ve definitely hit the mark here.”

AAPA to Host Three Events on West Coast

By Karen Robes Meeks

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) recently announced that it will host three of its events on the West Coast in 2020. AAPA, which represents 130 seaport authorities in the US, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, will host 10 events next year, including eight maritime industry training seminars and two conferences. Events on the West Coast include the Smart Ports seminar, which focuses on information technology, is scheduled for Los Angeles, Calif., on Feb. 5–6; the Finance Seminar, presented in partnership with SAP Concur, will be in Seattle, Wash., on April 15-16; and the three-day Port Security Seminar and Expo is slated for San Diego, Calif., on July 15-17.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

New Everett Waterfront Hotel Now Open

By Karen Robes Meeks

Hotel Indigo Seattle Everett Waterfront, the first completed private development in the Port of Everett's 65-acre Waterfront Place, is now open.

The new hotel features rooms with water views, a large indoor saline swimming pool, nearly 8,000 square feet of indoor meeting and event space, more than 5,000 square feet dedicated to outdoor events and “a locally inspired restaurant with a seafood-forward concept,” according to the port.

“Welcoming our first guests to Hotel Indigo and Jetty Bar & Grille is truly special along with the enthusiastic community support that is essential to our success,” said Patty Davis, general manager of Hotel Indigo Seattle Everett Waterfront. “The tranquil setting paired with views of the Port of Everett Marina from most guestrooms is ideal for a leisurely getaway and the hotel's amenities are perfect for special events and group meetings of all sizes. We are excited to welcome guests from near and far and look forward to being part of the vibrant and growing community here in Everett.” Lisa Lefeber, Port of Everett deputy executive director, said she is happy to officially welcome Hotel Indigo and their guests to the port as they open their doors to the community.

“This exciting and historic milestone marks the first of many openings to come to Waterfront Place, adding to the overall vibrancy and livability of this waterfront destination,” she said.

San Diego Seeks Input on Charter Regulations

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego is seeking input on proposed changes to its charter vessel regulations, Port Code Section 4.37.

The proposal would affect charter vessels that operate in San Diego Bay marinas and sportfishing landings starting January 2020. It would allow the port to “issue permits to qualified charter vessel operators who conduct their businesses outside of a marina or sportfishing landing”. The port would collect the related license agreement fees from those operators.

Currently, unpermitted vessel charters operate in San Diego Bay and some lack proper insurance or operate under unsafe conditions, according to the port.

The outreach meeting will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 at the Port Administration Building, 3165 Pacific Highway, San Diego 92101. The public may also submit feedback at charters@portofsandiego.org.

For more information on the proposal, visit https://pantheonstorage.blob.core.windows.net/maritime/Draft-Proposed-Updates-Port-Charter-Vessel-Regulations.pdf.

San Pedro Bay Ports Celebrate Clean Air Day

By Karen Robes Meeks

The nation's two busiest seaports honored California Clean Air Day on Wednesday with the introduction of green cargo-handling equipment.

The Port of Los Angeles introduced two pre-commercial battery-electric top handlers that will be tested over a 12-month period, starting at the end of the year, at the Everport Container Terminal.

“Today shows we are making good on our pledge to do the hard work of advancing commercially feasible solutions to meet our goal of transitioning all cargo-handling equipment to zero emissions by 2030,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We're excited to power up these battery-electric top handlers and test them under the real-world conditions of a working container terminal.”

Meanwhile, the Port of Long Beach announced that hydrogen- and electric-powered cargo handling equipment will be tested at two shipping terminals.

The equipment is funded through a $5.3 million California Air Resources Board grant as part of the “C-PORT,” or Commercialization of POLB Off-Road Technology Project.

According to the port, five vehicles will be tested, including two battery-electric top handlers at SSA Marine's Pacific Container Terminal at Pier J, as well as one fuel cell yard tractor, one battery-electric top handler and one battery-electric yard tractor at Long Beach Container Terminal at Pier E.

“Projects like these are designed to take us down the road to being the world's first zero-emissions seaport,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We have our labor partners of the ILWU, our terminal operators SSA and LBCT, and our regulatory agencies all working together to find the right technologies to reach our zero-emissions goals. With teamwork and cooperation like that, I think we can look forward to many more innovative projects to demonstrate new technologies.”

New Olympia Business Development Head

By Karen Robes Meeks

Allyn J. Roe has been tapped to be the Port of Olympia's Business Development Director, confirmed Executive Director Sam Gibboney.

Roe has business development, real estate development, and airport management experience, having worked as chief operating officer for Industrial Park at Trans Alta, and as airport manager of the Chehalis-Centralia Airport where, for eight years, he managed daily operations and retail marketing.

“The Port received many excellent applications for this position,” said Gibboney. “And while the competition was close, we found Allyn to be the best fit for the Port of Olympia. We are looking forward to having Allyn on the port's leadership team and working with him to continue to build and foster the port's commitment to economic development, growth and revenue generation in Thurston County.”

Friday, October 4, 2019

Los Angeles to Move Forward on China Shipping Terminal

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Oct. 8, the Los Angeles Harbor Commission is expected to certify the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) for the Berths 97–109 (China Shipping) Container Terminal Project.

This final SEIR has been years in the making. In a letter to stakeholders, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka spoke about finding out about “the languishing compliance with the 2008 China Shipping expansion Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and associated mitigation measures” when he first arrived at the port in 2014.

“With a focus on remaining solutions-oriented, I also immediately directed staff to begin a supplemental environmental impact report (SEIR) to bring about legal compliance and to ensure that we fulfill our obligations for the Berth 97–109 Container Terminal under the California Environmental Quality Act,” he wrote.

“After several years of required reassessment of the feasibility and necessity for each of the measures that were not implemented, including responses to many important comments from the public, we are now ready to present a Final SEIR to our Board of Harbor Commissioners for consideration.”

The special meeting will take place at 9 a.m. at the port’s administration building, 425 S. Palos Verdes St. in San Pedro, Calif.

For a copy of the Final SEIR, visit https://www.portoflosangeles.org/environment/environmental-documents.

Jobs Rose at Port of Vancouver, USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

Last year, more than 24,000 area jobs were supported by Clark County’s second largest employer, Port of Vancouver, USA, an uptick of nearly 4,000 jobs since 2014. That number includes 3,910 direct jobs at port facilities, according to an independent study update conducted by Martin Associates.

“The port has done a great job keeping us working,” said Cager Clabaugh, President of the ILWU Local 4. “They’ve attracted a wide variety of cargoes that keep the ships coming, and keep our members on the job, even with global trade uncertainties.”

The region saw several economic benefits, thanks to the port, including $753.3 million in wages, salaries and local consumption, average annual salary of $56,415 for every direct job created by the port, $132.4 million in state and local taxes, and $386.2 million in local purchases.

“It is exciting to hear the positive results of the port’s economic benefit study,” said Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle. “The Port of Vancouver is an important economic driver in our region and plays a vital role in job creation and continuing the Columbia River’s rich history of trade.”

Columbia River Floodplain Restoration

By Karen Robes Meeks

Officials recently broke ground on the Steigerwald Floodplain Restoration Project, work that would restore a habitat and control flooding on land that is home to the Cowlitz, Chinook, and Grand Ronde tribes.

The Honorable Suzanne Bonamici, Washougal Mayor Molly Coston, US Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Leader Chris Lapp, CEO for the Port of Camas-Washougal David Ripp, and Principal Restoration Ecologist and Project Manager Chris Collins were among the partners present at the Sept. 5 ground-breaking ceremony.

According to the port, the current levee along the Columbia River worsens flooding from Gibbons Creek and doesn’t allow the creek to drain naturally into the Columbia River.

About 2-1/4 miles of the levee will be taken out, relinking the river to 960 acres of floodplain, which was obstructed in 1966 when the US Army Corps of Engineers finished the levee.

Oakland Reefer Exports Rise

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland recently reported that refrigerated exports rose by 20 percent in the past year, as it moved 119,756 TEUs from August 2018 through July 2019.The year before, the port handled 99,740 TEUs.

Beef and pork from the US Midwest are the port’s fastest-growing refrigerated export goods, with increases of 45 percent and 38 percent respectively, in the same timeframe.

Over the years, the port has been bolstering its cold chain logistics by creating new distribution capability, expanding operating hours to relieve export container deliveries to be shipped overseas, and putting in hundreds of additional electrical outlets to plug in refrigerated containers waiting to load unto ships.

The port also opened the 283,000-square-foot refrigerated distribution center Lineage Cool Port Oakland with Lineage Logistics and Dreisbach Enterprises.

“Our business partners are investing to meet increased overseas demand for US farm goods,” said Port Maritime Director John Driscoll. “When you couple their expertise with our infrastructure, it makes a compelling case for running the transportation cold chain through Oakland.”

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

New Coast Guard Cutter Commissioned

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard on Thursday commissioned its newest Hawaii-based 154-foot Fast Response Cutter, the third FRC to be homeported at Coast Guard Base Honolulu.

The Coast Guard Cutter William Hart (WPC 1134) was built by Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, Louisiana and arrived Aug. 17 in Honolulu.

The cutter will assist in covering the 14th Coast Guard District, which includes more than 14 million square miles of land and sea, with units in Hawaii, American Samoa, Saipan, Guam, Singapore, and Japan.

“There is no greater reflection of the commandant’s strategic vision and commitment than the fact that as we commission the William Hart today, it will be the fifth Coast Guard cutter commissioned in the last two years here at Base Honolulu that will operate in the heart of Oceania,” said Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, commander Coast Guard 14th District. “There is no question that by our actions and not our words alone, the Coast Guard is here and committed along with the rest of the United States in the Pacific.”

The William Hart is part of a greater effort by the Coast Guard to modernize its fleet to meet a more complex global Maritime Transportation System.

“This is a remarkable ship with increased seakeeping, endurance, range, combat capability, telecommunications, everything about this is a game-changer for the Coast Guard,” said Lunday.

Clean Air Action Plan Input Sought

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public will have an opportunity to weigh in on the latest efforts to implement initiatives contained in the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan 2017 Update.

This meeting, the third one this year, is set to take place from 10 a.m. to noon on October 3, in the first-floor Multi-Purpose Room at the Port of Long Beach Administration Building, 415 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, Calif. 90802.

Approved by the Long Beach and Los Angeles Harbor Commissions in November 2017, the Update is a blueprint to fast-tracking the port’s zero-emission goals with a number of initiatives. The strategy includes more on-dock rail use, the development of a rate structure and incentives to create quicker turnover to near-zero and zero-emission trucks, more cargo flow efficiency, and lower emissions with programs such as a universal truck reservation system, staging yards and intelligent transportation systems.

Part of the Update involves up to four CAAP stakeholder advisory meetings annually.

For more information, visit www.cleanairactionplan.org.

California Clean Air Action Day

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach and the City of Long Beach will celebrate California Clean Air Day on Oct. 2, a day designated by the Coalition for Clean Air as a statewide pledge for a greener California. Efforts toward that pledge include incorporating clean air strategies such as planting trees, driving cleaner vehicles and recycling.

The lunchtime event will feature food, music, games, booths, and displays of zero-emissions city vehicles as well as two new zero-emissions hydrogen and battery-electric yard hostlers that handle cargo at the port.

The event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Civic Center Plaza, 411 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, Calif.

Everett Waterfront Housing Construction Starts

By Karen Robes Meeks

Construction has begun on Everett Waterfront Place Apartments, the latest project in the Port of Everett’s new 65-acre Waterfront Place Central Redevelopment, according to Calgary development firm Gracorp and local builder SeaLevel Properties.

When completed, a pair of four-story buildings, located at 1300 and 1400 W. Marine View Drive, will offer 266 homes ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments.

“Gracorp is aligned with our parent company Graham Construction to not only build a multifamily site, but truly transform it and take advantage of the rich history and beauty of this area,” said Gracorp Director Giuseppe Augello. “We are excited to work with the Port of Everett on the Waterfront Place Central Redevelopment. Given Everett’s and the region’s growth, 2,000 marina boat slips next to our project, and until now lack of housing along the waterfront, the interest in the project is very strong.”

The project totals more than 247,000 square feet. The North Building featuring 135 units should be completed by spring 2021, while the 131-unit South Building should be ready for the summer.

“This historic project will bring housing to the Everett waterfront for the first time in its history, and provide an early signal to the community and follow on developers that the Port is committed to implementing its vision of a vibrant destination waterfront,” said the Port of Everett.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Ports Concerned Over Trade Policy

By Karen Robes Meeks

Leaders from the six biggest ports on the West Coast endorsed a letter to President Donald Trump raising their concerns over the potential long-term effects to the region if the US and China continue to escalate their trade dispute.

“A long trade war could mean more shipping time for western producers and fewer work opportunities for West Coast workers,” said Clare Petrich, Port of Tacoma commission president and co-chair of The Northwest Seaport Alliance.

The letter, sent by the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Portland, Seattle and Tacoma, says the trade dispute “will create irredeemable economic harm to employers, workers, residents and international partnerships along the entire coast and throughout the country.”

“US trade policy impacts not only our core businesses, but also the success of our customers, and the livelihoods of our local communities,” the letter states. “Collectively, our trade and logistics operations employ hundreds of thousands of family-wage workers whose jobs rely on dependable trade flows. In addition, the cargo handled at our ports flows to and from every corner of the country – from the Atlantic seaboard through America’s heartland to the West Coast – to support American businesses of every size. In fact, 38 percent of all US exports to China by value go through our six ports alone.”

USCG Supports Arctic Exercise

By Karen Robes Meeks

This month, the US Coast Guard offered coverage for Navy and Marine Corps personnel who took part in the Arctic Expeditionary Capabilities Exercise (AECE) 2019 in Alaska, making sure participants were safe during the exercise.

Coverage included supplying search and rescue, law enforcement crews, and assistance in navigating Alaskan waters at exercise locations.

"As one of the nation’s Armed Forces, the Coast Guard integrates with the Department of Defense, including the US Navy and the US Marine Corps as evidenced during this exercise," said Capt. Melissa L. Rivera, chief of staff for the Seventeenth Coast Guard District. "Our helicopters, planes, equipment and personnel can fully integrate with the other military services as our HC-130 airplane is conducting refueling operations with the Navy and Marines, our MH-65 helicopter is landing on US Navy assets, our Maritime Safety and Security Teams are enforcing security zones around US Navy assets, and our deck watch officers embarked on US Navy ships to provide local knowledge and guidance to ensure safe passage."

New Float Lab in Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland and the California College of the Arts recently launched a new Float Lab at the Port’s Middle Harbor Shoreline Park. Acting as a reef, Float Lab seeks to curb shoreline erosion caused by waves and draws mussels, crustaceans and other sub-surface marine animals.

The college staff will study the buoyancy of structures in a marine environment and biologists will examine the Lab’s sub-surface environment. The Bay Conservation and Development Commission and other members of the regulatory community will have a chance to delve into how “pilot structures, designed to study and combat sea-level rise, fit into the regulatory framework,” according to the port.

“Float Lab is a collaboration between academic and community stakeholders to help us better prepare for the port’s climate future,” said Port Director of Environmental Programs and Planning Richard Sinkoff. “At the same time, students, through a partnership with local schools, will learn about the importance of marine communities and biodiversity.”

Redwood City PortFest

By Karen Robes Meeks

The 10th Annual Redwood City PortFest will take place on Oct. 5.

This year’s event, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will feature a day full of family-friendly activities, including Sea Scout Boat Rides on the Gryphon and Marine Science Institute Harbor Tours aboard the Robert G. Brownlee, as well as Working Waterfront tours and a Kids Cool Game Truck video game experience. Free sailboat rides by Spinnaker Sailing, food, and Kids Zone with bounce house, carnival games and prizes will add to the experience.

Cover band Brickhouse will headline the entertainment portion of the event. Music from the West Bay Community Band, Sequoia High School Band and the Woodside String Orchestra will also be featured on the program.

Visit https://rwcportfest.com/ for more information.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

New Symphony Venue Coming to Port of San Diego

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego and the San Diego Symphony recently broke ground on the Bayside Performance Park project in the Port’s Embarcadero Marina Park South.

The waterfront-enhancing “park within a park” project will feature a new, permanent performance venue for the symphony, a wider public promenade and new or upgraded benches, basketball courts and exercise equipment, gazebo, lighting, and restrooms.

"Today marks the end of a nearly four-year process that brought together the Port of San Diego and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra in creating a new vision for the tidelands,” said Martha Gilmer, San Diego Symphony CEO. "Now we begin working together to build a remarkable project designed to bring this park alive with music and activities for everyone in our community.”

Construction is expected to be completed by next summer, in time for the beginning of the Bayside Summer Nights concert series.

“The San Diego Symphony is a wonderful partner. We couldn’t be more pleased that we’ve moved into the construction phase with the first concerts scheduled to begin next summer,” said Chairman Garry Bonelli, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “The Symphony’s $45 million minimum investment will create a stunning year-round performance venue right on the San Diego Bay waterfront and provide a new and improved public park that everyone can enjoy.”

Pollution Down at Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach’s latest annual emissions inventory study showed dramatic decreases in operations-related pollution. Since 2005, nitrogen oxides have been down by 56 percent, sulfur oxides by 97 percent, diesel emissions by 87 percent and greenhouse gases by 16 percent when compared to 2018 numbers.

“We’re seeing the results of the hard work by the port and the goods movement industry, and we’re showing the world that sustainable cargo movement is possible,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal. “There’s work to be done to get to our ultimate goal of zero-emissions operations, but I’m confident we will get there together.

Because of last year’s record cargo numbers, the 2018 inventory showed a slight increase from the previous year’s inventory. The 2017 numbers posted an 88 percent decrease in diesel particulates and an 18 percent decrease in greenhouse gases when compared to 2005.

“We’ve accomplished these reductions even while container traffic has risen 21 percent since 2005,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We are proud of what we’ve done in cooperation with our many partners, but we’re not finished. The port is managing $150 million in projects all across our port, all in the name of cleaner air. This includes $80 million in grant funding to demonstrate zero emissions equipment and advanced energy systems in port operations.”

Fishing Boat Burns Off Oahu

By Karen Robes Meeks

No lives were lost following a fire that consumed a commercial fishing vessel off Oahu, the US Coast Guard said Wednesday.

The vessel Miss Emma caught fire Tuesday approximately eight miles from South Island. It burned through the night before sinking at 7:22 a.m. in 2,700 feet of water seven miles south of Barbers Point, according to the Coast Guard. “We’re pleased there was no loss of life in this case, and there are no current reports of pollution,” said Lt. j.g. Seth Gross, a command duty officer for Coast Guard Sector Honolulu.

The agency is investigating the cause of the fire. The Coast Guard first heard about the blaze via mayday call from the crew of the Miss Emma at 4:29 p.m. Tuesday.

A Coast Guard Station Honolulu 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew headed to the scene, rescuing the six crew members and a NOAA observer on a life raft. They arrived uninjured to Pier 38 in Honolulu.

Redwood City Dredging Underway

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Redwood City Harbor Channel Maintenance Dredging Project is currently underway to restore the channel depth lost to accumulated sediments.

The $7.95 million project by the US Army Corps of Engineers calls for contractor R.E. Staite Engineering to carve out the channel back to its depth of 30 feet, which would allow bigger cargo vessels to use the Port of Redwood City, bolster the area’s economy and recreational uses and eliminate trucks from roads.

According to the port, by the time the project is completed at the end of October, crews will have dredged 416,000 cubic yards of bay mud. Approximately 70,000 cubic yards will go toward wetlands restoration for sea level adaptation in the Bay.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Bonneville Lock Closed

By Karen Robes Meeks

Bonneville Lock remains closed to all river traffic and Bradford and Robins Islands are closed to public access while the US Army Corps of Engineers makes repairs to the navigation lock.

The Corps announced the temporary closure on Friday, September 8, after finding a mechanical issue. The lock had been drained and inspected, and repairs to the damaged concrete are underway.

More than a dozen commercial vessels are expected to be affected by the lock closure, including seven from Tidewater Barge Lines; four from Shaver Transportation; and three from American Cruise Line, according to the Coast Guard.

"We appreciate the close coordination with Portland Army Corps of Engineers staff as we work together to ensure the safe re-opening of the lock and waterway, given the area's importance to transportation and commerce," said Capt. Alan Moore, the commanding officer at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland.

Located 40 miles east of Portland, the Bonneville Dam is the first of eight dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers, a major waterway for goods flowing to and from the region.

For the latest on the lock closure, go to the USACE Portland District Lock Status Webpage with Facebook/Twitter links at: https://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Locations/Columbia-River/BonnevilleLockStatus/

Chris Lytle Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, the Containerization and Intermodal Institute bestowed upon Port of Oakland retired Executive Director Chris Lytle its Lifetime Achievement Award.

The honor, which was presented at the Institute’s annual Connie Awards banquet, caps off a 53-year maritime career that includes various roles in the private and public sector.

He was executive director of the Port of Long Beach before arriving at the Port of Oakland, where he led the Northern California seaport for the last six years before retiring in July.

“I’ve had a long and satisfying career and this recognition makes it easier to step away,” said Lytle, 73, who is serving as a consultant for the Port of Oakland until the end of the year. “I’m leaving the industry with great memories and pride in what I’ve accomplished alongside hundreds of wonderful colleagues.”

Community Outreach at Redwood City

By Karen Robes Meeks

Redmond City, the port of Redwood City and the Water Emergency Transportation Authority will be hosting a series of community outreach and ridership forecast activities at upcoming fall events.

The three agencies are looking into the feasibility of constructing a ferry terminal and running a new ferry service to and from Redwood City.

The study will explore ridership potential, number-crunch operation costs and estimate economic and social benefits. It will also consider potential routes and landing sites for ferries, including San Francisco and Oakland.

Community outreach opportunities include the Salsa Festival on Sept. 21, PortFest on Oct. 5, Farmers Market on Saturdays and the San Carlos Art & Wine Fair, October 12-13.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Long Beach Containers Down Over Year

By Karen Robes Meeks

Last month, the Port of Long Beach moved 663,992 TEUs, 2.3 percent less than it did in August 2018, according to recent numbers released by the port.

Imports in August fell 5.9 percent to 322,780 TEUs, while exports jumped 4.5 percent to 124,975 TEUs from the same period a year ago. Empty containers dipped 0.3 percent to 216,238 TEUs.

Long Beach has handled more than 4.9 million TEUs so far this year, 6.6 percent less than during the same eight-month span in 2018, a record year for the port. It was, nevertheless, the fifth busiest August in the port’s history.

“These results are strong for any North American seaport, but lag behind our record high numbers last year, when retailers shipped goods to beat expected tariffs,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We are still on track for one of our busiest years ever and our focus remains on delivering efficiency and reliability as we await the swift resolution of the US-China trade dispute,” he added.

International trade has continued and will continue to evolve, said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal.

“Our focus as policy makers for the Port must be long-term, and our future as the primary gateway for trans-Pacific commerce remains very positive,” she said. “We are investing billions in efficient and sustainable cargo movement to serve the needs of the supply chain today and decades from now.”

Road Closure to Affect Port of Everett Access

By Karen Robes Meeks

For 10 days starting Sept. 17, West Marine View Drive will be closed to make way for the city of Everett’s Grand Avenue Park Bridge project. Interwest Construction Inc. will shut down all five lanes of West Marine View Drive between 13th and 18th streets to vehicular traffic between Sept. 17 through Sept. 26.

The closure will allow Interwest to conduct its final alignment of the bridge.

Drivers wanting to access the South Marina, Port Gardner Landing, Marina Village and all businesses and facilities in these areas must approach from the south.

Those planning to head to the Central Marina, North Marina, Boat Launch and all businesses and facilities in these areas must approach from the north.

Pedestrian access will also be affected around the construction area.

For more details, visit everettwa.gov/gapb or contact the city directly at 425-257-7206 or hgriffin@everettwa.gov.

Oakland Volumes Rise

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland kicked off its peak season with volume growth.

Imports in August rose 3.1 percent to 88,323 TEUs – the port’s busiest August for imports – while exports inched up 1 percent to 75,080 TEUs from the same period a year ago. It represents the sixth consecutive month of export gains. Meanwhile, empty containers fell 14 percent.

Oakland is crediting August’s numbers to strong U.S. consumer demand for the rise in imports and overseas demand for American farm goods for the export increase.

“It’s good to see volume trending in the right direction,” said Port Maritime Director John Driscoll. “Let’s see now if we can keep it going through the fall.”

New Redwood City Port Commission Chair

By Karen Robes Meeks

Commissioner Ralph Garcia will serve as chairman of the board of the Port of Redwood City’s Port Commission. The announcement was made at the Sept. 11 meeting. He will be taking over for outgoing Chair Lorianna Kastrop.

First appointed to the port commission in 2005 and reappointed in 2007 and 2012, Garcia served more than a decade on the Redwood City Planning Commission, including a two-year term as chairman. He has owned Ralph’s Vacuum and Sewing Center in Redwood City for over four decades.

Commissioner Richard Claire will serve as the board’s vice chairman, while Commissioner R. Simms Duncan will fill the Board Secretary position. The board unanimously approved the election of the officers.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Long Beach Seeking Bids for Rail Project

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners agreed earlier this week to seek out construction bids for a planned rail project at the Port of Long Beach.

The Double Track Access from Pier G to J Project is expected to make cargo movement up to 25 percent more efficient by placing more cargo on rail as opposed to trucks.

The $25 million project, expected to be completed in 2021, will add a new 9,000-foot mainline track to help trains serve four terminals in the port’s south basin. The port will invest $11 million into the project, and a grant from the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program will fund the rest.

“The Double Track Access from Pier G to J Project is part of our ongoing efforts to improve the Port so that Long Beach remains globally competitive and environmentally sustainable well into the future,” said Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal.

The commission is expected to award a construction contract by December.

Another Record for LA

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles has established a new single-month cargo record for the fifth month in a row, the port announced Tuesday.

Last month, the port handled 861,081 TEUs, a 4.2 percent jump from August 2018. It is the port’s busiest August in its 112-year history.

Imports rose 4.1 percent when compared to August 2018 reaching 437,613 TEUs. Exports fell 10 percent to 146,284 TEUs, the tenth straight month of decreases. Empties jumped 13.8 percent to 277,183 TEUs.

Eight months into 2019 and Los Angeles’ volumes are up 5.7 percent compared to the record year of 2018.

“Our strong volume growth this year is due in part to our global supply chain relationships, aggressive marketing and improvements in operational efficiencies,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We continue to build value with the Port Optimizer™, a digitization tool which increases visibility of incoming cargo and improves logistics planning and overall efficiency.”

Seroka added that the final months of 2018 ended with “an extraordinary influx of imports to beat expected tariffs on China-origin goods.”

“We don’t expect to see those kind of volumes in the months ahead,” he said. “We need a negotiated settlement of the U.S.-China trade war to restore global trade stability.”

Vancouver, USA Tours Serve 400

By Karen Robes Meeks

More than 400 people attended the Port of Vancouver USA’s tour season this past summer, which allowed the public to see port facilities up close. This year, there was a waitlist for the tours.

“At almost every tour people are amazed by the magnitude of business taking place at the port,” said Community Relations Manager Julie Rawls, who conducts each tour. “The most frequent comment I get from community members is that they had no idea this kind of activity was taking place right here in their own backyard.”

The tour consists of a presentation about the port and commodities that are imported and exported, followed by a guided bus tour of the port’s marine, rail and industrial operations.

Tours are expected to continue in 2020, with dates to be announced early next year.

Visit www.portvanusa.com/community/know-your-port for more information.

Redwood City Hosts First Responders

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Redwood City – an official FEMA-designated Federal Staging Area (FSA) for the South San Francisco Bay area – recently hosted more than 75 regional first responders for an annual emergency drill. The four-hour exercise – which simulated a post-7.9 magnitude earthquake scenario – tested the response of regional fire departments, Redwood City Police Department and city staff, as well as FEMA Urban Search and Rescue California Task Force 3.

“Emergency drills like this are conducted annually to keep first responders ready and allow them to continuously learn new ways to better collaborate on recovery efforts,” said Ted Born, operational planner for FEMA Region 9 who attended the exercise as an observer.

“Last year’s exercise was influential in initiating development of the Bay Area Port Recovery Plan, post-earthquake,” said Born. “As the only deep-water port in the south Bay Area, (the Port of Redwood City) is a strategic location for the delivery of emergency provisions along the San Andreas Fault and a key part of the Bay Area’s earthquake recovery plans.”

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Vancouver, USA Sponsors Maritime Exhibit

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA is sponsoring the exhibit entitled Currents of Progress: Clark County Rivers, Roads and Ports now open at the Clark County Historical Museum.

The display, which is the result of a yearlong effort will remain open through 2023. It features “interpretive panels, historical objects, and interactive stations” that allow guests to explore and interact “with the history and future of these important facilities and systems in Clark County and Southwest Washington,” the port reported. It looks at the Native American Nations and their relationships with the waterways and the creation of the Vancouver, Camas-Washougal and Ridgefield ports.

“Working with the Clark County Historical Museum staff on this exhibit was a wonderful experience,” said Port of Vancouver Chief External Affairs Officer Ryan Hart.

For more information, visit www.cchmuseum.org.

USCGC Mellon Homecoming

By Karen Robes Meeks

After 80 days patrolling the Pacific Ocean safeguarding against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activity, crewmembers of US Coast Guard Cutter Mellon (WHEC 717), which included two Canadian fishery officers, came home to Seattle, Wash., last Sunday. This is the second joint operation in 2019 between the US Coast Guard and Fisheries and Oceans, Canada’s Conservation and Protection program.

A priority for the US and Canada, IUU fishing undercuts the global economy of billions of dollars and undermines legitimate fish harvesters in addition to affecting food security.

During the patrol, officers boarded 45 vessels and found 68 potential violations, including improper gear, fishing for sharks without a license, evidence of illegal shark finning.

“IUU fishing is one of the greatest threats to the ocean’s fish stocks,” said Capt. Jonathan Musman, Mellon’s commanding officer. “It was an honor to be on the front lines of enforcement efforts of the distant waters fishing fleets.”

Container Joint Powers to Meet

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Intermodal Container Transfer Facility Joint Powers Authority governing board will meet on Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. in Long Beach, Calif. The authority was established in 1983 to oversee the creation and operation of the 148-acre facility, which was developed to improve truck and rail cargo flow through the Port of Los Angeles and the Port Long Beach. The facility, about five miles away from the twin ports, is run by Union Pacific.

The meeting will take place at the Bob Foster Civic Chambers, 411 W. Ocean Blvd., near the Port of Long Beach Administration Building. For more information, visit the Joint Powers Authority's website at www.ICTF-JPA.org or call Elena Flores at 562-283-7056.

USCGC Robert Ward Completes Successful Drug Patrol

By Karen Robes Meeks

The first drug patrol of the US Coast Guard Cutter Robert Ward (WPC-1130) in the Eastern Pacific Ocean recently yielded approximately 2,800 pounds of seized cocaine worth an estimated $38.5 million. Another 3,000 pounds recovered by Robert Ward crew members in mid-July was moved to the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC-623) and brought to San Diego as part of a 13-ton bulk offload.

“The Cutter Robert Ward and three other newly-commissioned cutters based in San Pedro are strengthening the Coast Guard’s safety, security and counter-smuggling efforts along our coast and in the shipping zones off Central and South America,” said Rear Adm. Peter W. Gautier, the 11th Coast Guard District commander. “I’m proud of the Ward’s crew and applaud their actions to disrupt the cartels that profit from crime, addiction and ruin American lives.”

Commissioned in March, the Robert Ward is among the four newly commissioned Coast Guard Fast Response Cutters based in San Pedro. They are part of the agency’s efforts to bolster forces in the area and enhance safety, security and emergency response capabilities.

Friday, September 6, 2019

LA Port Police Respond to Dive Boat Fire

By Karen Robes Meeks

Los Angeles Port Police lent their assistance and equipment this week to help in the aftermath of a Labor Day weekend boat fire that left 34 people dead in Santa Barbara County.

The port police’s six-member dive crew and specialized sonar equipment headed to the area Tuesday to help with dive operations. The sonar equipment can search the ocean floor and send video images to the team members. The specialized crew has also been assisting with evidence collection and documenting the debris area.

“Our hearts go out to the victims and the surviving families and friends of this terrible accident,” said Port of Los Angeles Police Chief Tom Gazsi. “It is a privilege to provide allied assistance along with the many public safety agencies who are working hard to locate those lost and support the investigation of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.”

New Bellingham Bike Park

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Sept. 28, the Port of Bellingham will celebrate the grand opening of a new mountain bike park along the downtown waterfront. The event will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. and feature pump track races and bike demos in addition to a beer garden, food trucks and a DJ. The public will be able to access the park from Granary Avenue or Laurel Street.

The port teamed up with Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition to create a large pump track and singletrack sidewalk. To construct the facility, the port hired local contractor Shire Built, known for mountain bike projects such as Mohawk Trail on Galbraith, the Civic Field dirt jumps and the Burlington Indoor Bike Park.

The park is part of a bigger vision for the area, which will eventually be developed into a large city park that will go through the downtown waterfront.

Camas-Washougal Community Address

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Camas-Washougal will take part in the annual State of the Community address. The event offers an opportunity to hear from community leaders about the future of the City of Camas, Camas School District, and the Port of Camas-Washougal.

The Port of Camas-Washougal has played a role in investing in parks and infrastructure to nurture the local economy while working to keep the area’s small-town feel.

The event will take place at 6 p.m. on Sept. 19 at Lacamas Lake Lodge, 227 NW Lake Road, Camas, WA 98607.

For more information visit portcw.com.

Port of San Diego Wins Fifth Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the fifth straight year, the Port of San Diego has earned a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for the United States and Canada.

The port garnered the honor for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which also earned the port’s Financial Services Department an Award of Financial Reporting Achievement.

“The Port of San Diego remains steadfast in providing full disclosure and receiving the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for five consecutive years demonstrates just that,” said Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners, Garry Bonelli. “We are a self-funded public agency, dedicated to serving the public and managing the magnificent tidelands of San Diego Bay.”

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Olympia Approves Vision 2050 Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Olympia officially has a Port Vision 2050 plan. Port Commissioners recently approved the 24-page document, the culmination of a 15-month community engagement process that resulted in 10 core goals and 59 actions.

The first goal is to preserve and enhance Thurston County’s working waterfront and global trade link by diversifying terminal operations. Some key actions for reaching that objective include pursuing manufacturing opportunities, completing the master plan and permitting for future marine terminal uses, developing military and humanitarian cargo strategies and creating a more welcoming layout around marine terminal.

Another goal is to invest in the Swantown Marina and Boatworks by adding amenities and access to water along the peninsula, as well as enhancing the facilities through improvements and marketing, and raising the share of regional boat-based spending.

The plan also calls for researching the idea that the port could serve as a cruise ship destination and regional commuter node by taking part in state-led ferry service studies and exploring the potential for offering or hosting water-taxi service.

“The valuable feedback received from the citizens of Thurston County will help shape future port activities and investment for years to come,” said Port Executive Director Sam Gibboney. “This body of work is a wonderful gift for the port to receive.”

For more information, visit www.portolympia2050.org.

Port of Long Beach Wins FEMA Grant

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded the Port of Long Beach a grant of more than $4.7 million to boost cybersecurity efforts.

The FEMA Port Security Grant Program funds will go towards additional cameras and sensors around the harbor and as well as ongoing investment in the port’s fiber and wireless network infrastructure.

“Securing the Port requires state-of-the-art technology to monitor activities on land, on the water and below the water,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “This grant will help us enhance our domain awareness and maintain our readiness to protect the harbor.”

Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal added: “Trade at the Port of Long Beach supports 2.6 million jobs around the nation, and the Harbor Commission is thankful for this federal funding that helps us ensure the smooth flow of commerce.”

San Diego to Release Multimodal Study Results

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego is ready to share the findings of its Harbor Drive Multimodal Corridor Study. The document lays out the issues and looks at potential improvement opportunities regarding usage of Harbor Drive between the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal and the National City Marine Terminal, the area known as the Working Waterfront.

The port wants to improve the safety and mobility of Harbor Drive and is presenting the study’s findings before a final plan comes before the Board of Port Commissioners this fall.

“While we have evaluated challenges and solutions to improve Harbor Drive, we know no single improvement can enhance mobility in this critical goods movement corridor,” said Garry Bonelli, chairman of the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “Yet, the Port, in concert with our transportation partner agencies, are eager to make progress for our entire community – while balancing the costs, benefits and impacts to everyone involved.”

An open house on the study will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 12 at the National City Aquatic Center in Pepper Park, 3300 Goesno Place, National City, California, 91950.

For more information, including a list of possible projects suggested by the study, go to www.portofsandiego.org/HarborDriveStudy.

Kalama Facility EIS Released

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Kalama Manufacturing & Marine Export Facility project at the Port of Kalama is now available for review.

The project by Northwest Innovation Works, LLC-Kalama seeks to create and run a natural gas-to-methanol production plant and storage facility at the port. A new marine terminal, a gas pipeline lateral, electrical upgrades and a methanol plant would be located on a 90-acre site adjacent to Tradewinds Road.

The project is currently following the State Environmental Policy Act process. The evaluation will provide a comprehensive review of any potential environmental impacts that need to be identified and addressed before acting on any permits or approvals.

Visit www.kalamamfgfacilitysepa.com for more information.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Olympia Harbor Days

By Karen Robes Meeks

From Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, the Port of Olympia will host the 46th Harbor Days Maritime Festival to celebrate the community’s maritime roots.

Vintage and working tugboats will be on display at Percival Landing and Port Plaza in downtown Olympia. Some tugs will offer tours on Saturday.

Festival goers will be able to admire various vessels including the retired US Coast Guard Cutter tug Comanche, now a floating WWII museum, and Tordenskjold, a 100-year-old Bering Sea fishing vessel. Also returning to Olympia is the famous tall ship Lady Washington, which will share dock space with the historic Mosquito Fleet steam ship Virginia V and US Navy retired admiral’s barge, Old Man IV. Tours and cruises will be offered all weekend.

On Saturday, Aug. 31, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors are invited to take a free port tour. Go to the Port of Olympia’s booth on the northwest corner of the Port Plaza, just north of Percival Landing on Budd Inlet for more details.

Harbor Days after Dark will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Port Plaza. This free live theater performance of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” is presented by OlyArts Magazine, a local art publication.

Not to be missed is the annual Tugboat Races in Budd Inlet scheduled for noon on Sunday Sept,1.

For more information, visit www.HarborDays.com.

Long Beach to Brief Public on Rail Facility

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public is invited to hear the latest details on the Port of Long Beach’s Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility. The project is at the heart of the port’s $1 billion rail program that will shift cargo transport at marine terminals to rail.

The move is expected to lower the number of regional truck trips and aligns with the port’s approach to greening operations.

“No cargo trucks would visit the facility,” according to the port. “Instead, smaller train segments would be brought to the facility and joined together into a full-sized train.”

The initial arrival, departure and storage tracks are expected to be in place by 2024, with more tracks ready for operation in 2030. The entire project is to be finalized by 2032.

A public meeting to discuss the project is set for 11 a.m. on Sept. 4, at the Long Beach Multi-Service Center, 1301 W. 12th St.

Visit polb.com/economics/pier_b_meeting_rsvp.asp to RSVP. For more information, go to www.polb.com/PierB.

USCG Sector Juneau Spill Response Exercise

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, members of the US Coast Guard Sector Juneau conducted an oil spill response exercise in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Representatives from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Southeast Alaska Petroleum Response Organization and Western Canadian Marine Response Corporation also took part in the exercise that saw an exclusion boom being deployed in Ward Cove and Whipple Creek.

The exercise allows participants to practice on-water recovery of free oil within the Tongass Narrows while using a boom around environmentally sensitive areas outlined in the Southeast Alaska Area Contingency Plan.

“This exercise will enable us to assess the effectiveness of our pre-planned strategy as well as our ability to carry it out,” said Cmdr. Byron Hayes, response department head at Sector Juneau. “The inclusion of our response partners ensures that in the event of a real pollution incident, we will be able to respond decisively as one team to safeguard the pristine Southeast Alaska environment.”

Oakland Exports Up

By Karen Robes Meeks

Export cargo at the Port of Oakland rose 2.4 percent in the first half of 2019, compared to the first six months of 2018. Port officials attributed the rise to double-digit increases of exports to South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, filling the gap left by China, the port’s biggest trading partner.

Exports to China fell 17 percent, the equivalent of 14,000 20-foot cargo containers this year, a result of Chinese tariffs on US goods. However, shipments to South Korea rose by 10,000, Japan by 7,000 and Taiwan by 3,000.

“This is testament to the resilience and ingenuity of our customers,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “They’re finding the means to overcome debilitating trade barriers.”

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Redwood City Receives Security Grant

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Redwood City has secured a $1.85 million 2019 Federal Emergency Management Agency Port Security Grant, allowing it to bolster its maritime security-related partnership with federal and area first responders.

The grant will go towards a new modern Interagency Operations Center, training and exercises. It will also pay for security infrastructure and equipment, including cameras, fencing, lights, a new jet dock, and equipment that detects chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive dangers for the Redwood City Fire and Police Departments.

“Receiving this grant underscores the federal government’s confidence in the port as a valued strategic partner in homeland security and a leader in emergency preparedness,” stated Port of Redwood City Executive Director Kristine A. Zortman. “This grant further demonstrates to our community the significance that the port plays in security and disaster recovery for the region.”

Port of LA Awards $1 Million in Grants

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles announced on Thursday the recipients of its fiscal year 2019/20 Community Investment Sponsorship Program. Thirty local groups have been awarded a total of $1 million in grants. The program funds community projects that promote the development of a local workforce, education, the environment and the Los Angeles Waterfront.

Recipients included EXP for its Preparing the Next Generation Workforce Program, the Los Angeles Maritime Institute for its Topsail Youth Program, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor for its Port Ocean and Land Awareness Program, as well as Beacon House Association of San Pedro and Clean Wilmington.

“The Port’s Community Investment Sponsorship Program continues to serve as an important vehicle to support innovative and promising local projects in the Los Angeles Harbor area,” said Port Executive Direction Gene Seroka. “We’re proud to support programs like these that are truly making a difference in our Port communities.”

Two National Security Cutters Commissioned

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard on Saturday morning celebrated the commissioning of two national security cutters at its Honolulu base.

The ceremony was for the USCGC Kimball (WMSL 756), which made it to destination on Dec. 22, 2018, and USGCG Midgett (WMSL 757), which arrived Friday from Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The Legend-class national security cutters are some of the Coast Guard's newest additions to the fleet and are a capable platform for a wide range of missions including homeland security and defense.

Capt. Holly Harrison is the commanding officer of Kimball and Capt. Alan McCabe commands Midgett.

“These national security cutters will continue our 150 years of partnership and commitment to the Pacific region – since September 1849, when Revenue Cutter Lawrence sailed into Honolulu Harbor escorted by Native Hawaiians in outrigger canoes,” said Adm. Karl Schultz, the Coast Guard’s commandant. “In today’s complex geostrategic environment with rising great power competition, the importance and demand for a strong Coast Guard presence in the Pacific has never been greater.”