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

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

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

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 for more information.