Comprehensive Environmental Management Port of Portland Natural Resource Assessment and Management Plan
To operate proactively, the Port of Portland developed the Natural Resource Assessment and Management Plan (NRAMP). NRAMP is a management and planning tool that provides port staff with a single source of all natural resource data (including inventories and maps) about port and surrounding properties. In addition, NRAMP contains modeling, alternatives analysis, monitoring, and adaptive management features that allow port staff to evaluate the potential effects of management actions on the resources.
NRAMP allows the Port of Portland to save money by more efficiently managing its properties and planning its operations. NRAMP’s modeling features allow early identification of project effects and benefits. This allows the Port to conserve scarce resources, realize cost savings, facilitate permitting and regulatory compliance, and resolve land use and resource management conflicts. The NRAMP concept, a single source of all natural resource data with features for using the data to manage and plan, is universally applicable to the Port industry.
Community/Public Involvement The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Green Ports Tenant Environmental Awareness Training
The Port Commerce Department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) developed and presented an environmental awareness program for PANYNJ’s Seaport tenant community. This program, free of charge to tenants, presented a comprehensive review of environmental aspects affecting tenant business operations including legal regulatory requirements, best management practices, pollution prevention, “green” design and construction, permitting requirements, and grants and financial incentives. In developing the program, the Port Commerce Department reached a milestone by building upon the experiences of its own tenants and peer ports. This tenant environmental awareness program is unique in that it is a strictly voluntary endeavor. There is no legal or regulatory force driving it. The program received very positive reviews from the participating tenants, and enhanced environmental awareness among the port community relative to their day-to-day operations.
Environmental Enhancement Port of Tacoma Clear Creek Habitat Improvement Project
The Port of Tacoma constructed the Clear Creek Habitat Improvement Project to enhance and restore wetland and aquatic habitats within Clear Creek, a tributary to the lower Puyallup River. Design of the Project was tailored to increasing the quantity and quality of off-channel habitat for salmon and waterfowl. The Project presented myriad challenges to restoring aquatic and terrestrial habitat within a highly industrialized-urbanized flood plain including converting uplands to aquatic habitat, enhancing and connecting isolated low functioning wetlands to Clear Creek, improving floodwater capacity within the Clear Creek drainage basin, and improving fish passage and tidal exchange between Clear Creek and the Puyallup River.
The Clear Creek site has continually met and often exceeds site specific performance standards for primary production, species diversity, and utilization by juvenile salmonids and waterfowl. The Project demonstrates the value of using lower cost real estate to provide to restore scarce watershed and landscape-scale functions and values. Site-specific technologies and approaches developed as part of this restoration action may unlock potential habitat enhancement opportunities for other port authorities, in light of the ever-increasing environmental challenges faced by the port community in the 21st century.
Mitigation Virginia Port Authority Norfolk International Terminals—Voluntary Mitigation Project
The Virginia Port Authority constructed a 1.6-acre wetland bench within a newly constructed 5.6-acre stormwater management basin at Norfolk International Terminals in Norfolk Virginia. The project has replaced a .29-acre low quality wetland system with a 7.1-acre wetland system that combines diverse plant species with open water habitat to provide shelter and food for many species of birds. The project is a voluntary mitigation project for the construction of an access road, railhead and gate facilities on a previously undeveloped area of the terminal.
The addition of the wetland bench to the existing stormwater pond not only provided more diverse habitat, but also enhanced stormwater treatment since runoff is absorbed and filtered by the wetland plants. Construction costs were significantly less than the construction of a separate off-site mitigation area. The pond slopes were simply constructed in a tiered fashion to allow for planting along the bench. Other ports that wish to construct wetland mitigation projects on-site may want to consider retrofitting existing ponds with wetland benches to improve stormwater filtration as well as satisfying mitigation requirements. Wetland benches within ponds allow ports to cost-effectively satisfy wetland mitigation requirements as well as achieve additional stormwater treatment credit.