Friday, May 24, 2019

Alaska Coast Guard Promotes Safe Boating Week

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, the US Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary throughout Alaska are promoting safe boating practices in recognition of National Safe Boating Week, a pre-Memorial Day campaign to help lower boating deaths and accidents.

"Boating safety is of paramount importance," said Paul Webb, Coast Guard 17th District search and rescue specialist. "With the ever-changing weather in Alaska the only thing that we have control over is how we prepare. Preparing for a worst-case scenario grants you a better chance of survival and allows the Coast Guard valuable time that you may not otherwise have."

Last year, the Coast Guard in Alaska saved 260 lives, helped 897 people and rescued more than $800,000 worth of property, according to the agency.

For more on Vessel Safety Checks visit: or or go to

Port of Vancouver USA Wins Outreach Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA has earned the Washington Public Ports Association’s Community Outreach Award for its annual Lecture Series.

The award, which the port accepted earlier this month in Spokane, Wash., recognizes a port effort or project that engages the residents of the community in a positive way.

“The Lecture Series has been an incredible opportunity to reach out to, and connect with the community in a way we never have before,” said CEO Julianna Marler. “We are grateful to the many organizations and individuals that dedicated their time and expertise to make these lectures happen.”

Since launching in 2017, the series has drawn over 1,000 visitors, and included topics such as “The Mighty Columbia – Our Working River,” “Railroading 101,” and “Great Western Malting – Tradition and Innovation in Malting.”

Everett Closer to Acquiring Mill Site

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett moved one step closer to possibly acquiring by condemnation the 67-acre former Kimberly-Clark (K-C) mill site, which sits in the middle of an increasingly busy waterfront.

Earlier this month, port commissioners authorized a public meeting to “consider taking final action of legal proceedings, if necessary,” to obtain the former K-C mill site, which accounted for 700 direct jobs until its 2012 closure.

According to the port, the commission, which first moved to acquire the site in February 2016, has been in talks with K-C for several years as the company worked through several environmental and structural complexities of the site.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at 4 p.m. on June 4, 2019 in the Port Commission room located at 1205 Craftsman Way, Suite 200, Everett, Wash. 98201.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Hawaii Sees Largest Cruise Ship

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, Honolulu received its largest ever cruise vessel to call in its harbor.

Royal Caribbean Cruise’s Ovation of the Seas made its first visit May 2, carrying approximately 5,000 passengers, which is “double what Honolulu Harbor typically sees from other cruise vessels visiting Honolulu,” according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), which facilitated ground transportation within harbor property.

The extra-large arrival prompted HDOT to release alerts cautioning the public on traffic delays on Nimitz Highway/Ala Moana Boulevard near Pier 2 during Ovation’s short stay as passengers left and boarded the cruise vessel.

Long Beach Grants Top $400k

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners awarded 153 sponsorships totaling $419,060 to promote the arts, environment, social justice and historic preservation.

The funds went to events such as the Century Villages at Cabrillo Community Resources Fair, the Khmer Girls in Action Yellow Lounge Cultural Arts Showcase, the Long Beach Playhouse Radio Hour Fundraiser and the Long Beach Veterans Day Parade.

“With the sponsorship program, the port is honored to be in a position to help local organizations support vibrant programs and beneficial projects throughout our community,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue. “The sponsorships are just another way the port sustains our commitment to the city of Long Beach.”

The port has awarded more than $9 million in sponsorships since 2007.

Domestic Maritime Impact Celebrated at Seattle Breakfast

Washington Senator Maria Cantwell joined business and government leaders from around the region on Friday, May 17, at the Seattle Maritime Festival Breakfast, presented by the Seattle Propeller Club in collaboration with the Port of Seattle, to celebrate the importance of the domestic maritime industry, which sustains 22,500 local jobs, and announce a 34 percent growth in domestic maritime jobs created in the State of Washington.

According to the findings of a new report conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of Transportation Institute (TI), the domestic maritime industry in Washington ranks sixth among all American states for jobs and labor income relating to the Jones Act. The industry employs more than 22,500 individuals, produces $6.12 billion for the local economy, and generates more than $1.5 billion in worker income. The same study shows that the domestic maritime industry employs more than 37,590 individuals, supports $2.5 billion in worker income, and produces nearly $10 billion for the Pacific Northwest regional economy.

At the Seattle Maritime Festival Breakfast, Sen. Cantwell was presented with the “2019 Seattle Propeller Club Public Official of the Year” award in recognition for her long-standing support of the domestic maritime industry, port infrastructure, maritime commerce, and the Jones Act.

The Jones Act is not only a vital anchor for America’s national security strategy but also a pillar of economic strength and job creation for the Pacific Northwest. Specifically, this law states that the transportation of merchandise between US points is reserved for US-built, owned, and documented vessels.

Oakland Imports Up

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland says its import business continues to grow despite tariff increases.

Last month, the port saw its busiest April in history, with imports jumping 7 percent when compared to the same period last year while exports rose 1.7 percent.

Although the numbers are up, there’s still cause for concern since the Trump Administration raised tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, according to the port, which counts China its biggest trading partner.

“We entered this year with uncertainty over the trade outlook, so we’re gratified by the solid performance of import cargo,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “At the same time, all of us involved in global trade are concerned about what comes next.”