A practical yet creative solution to the issue of rising costs for stormwater management and the first of its kind in the port industry, the Port of Seattle created the Marine Stormwater Utility by negotiating an agreement with the City of Seattle. Prior to establishing the Utility, the Port paid the City stormwater drainage fees that reached nearly $4 million in 2014, were rising annually at 10 percent, and the Port received no return on investment. The Utility now collects and uses these fees from Port tenants and business units, resulting in a zero net cost to the customers. The fees are used to assess, repair and improve stormwater infrastructure including adding green infrastructure to manage stormwater.
In an effort to reduce impacts to barn owls at the Port of Stockton and control the rodent population, the Port conducted a successful Barn Owl Nest Box Pilot Project and then launched the Barn Owl Nest Box Program in 2014. Thus far, the Port has installed 20 barn owl nest boxes at various locations to replace lost nesting sites and create new ones. The Port has found the nest boxes to be a very effective, environmentally friendly, and cost-efficient method to control the rodent population. The Port installed video cameras at several of the nest boxes, which stream live to the Port’s website so the public can follow adult owls nesting and the growth of new owl chicks in the relative safety and comfort of the nest boxes. Since the initial installation, the Port has upgraded the system and added more cameras, and a Port webpage streams live video. The Port also hosts a booth at local events to introduce the public to the program, and produces programs with elementary school students to dissect owl pellets and learn about the owl box program.
Started in 2010, the Green Business Network (Network) is an integrated energy efficiency and sustainability program spearheaded by the Port of San Diego to educate tenants and subtenants on sustainable business practices and connect Port businesses with resources to implement building and operational improvements. The Network was originally developed as a Green Business Challenge to promote healthy competition amongst Port tenants and subtenants interested in implementing sustainability into their operations. The Network has since developed into a robust voluntary sustainability program for businesses located on Port tidelands, providing assistance to businesses interested in implementing initiatives that improve operational efficiency and reduce environmental impacts. The program provides Members with no-cost resources and training opportunities to better incorporate sustainability into daily business practices, while recognizing Member success stories through marketing campaigns and annual awards.
Developed over four years by 12 state and federal agencies and three local interest groups, the Craney Island Mitigation Plan utilizes a “landscape approach” recommended by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science for the eastward expansion of the USACE-owned Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area in Norfolk Harbor, a project jointly sponsored by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and The Port of Virginia. This approach encourages biodiversity and connectivity of three major aquatic habitats: oyster reefs, wetlands, and benthic sediments. At a cost of $63 million, the plan targets a 411-acre section of the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River prioritized by the Commonwealth’s Watershed Action Plan for the Elizabeth River. The plan will create 52 acres of tidal wetlands, 16.5 acres of oyster reefs, and 67 acres of sediment remediation.
After years of interagency collaboration and planning, the Port of Stockton, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, began the Antioch Dunes Restoration Project. This unique project to restore the dune habitat, which provides sanctuary to numerous endangered species, combines the annual Stockton Deep Water Ship Channel maintenance dredging effort with habitat restoration. More than 40,000 cubic yards of sandy dredged material have been placed on the site and used by USFWS to begin to re-establish the extremely rare dune habitat since 2014. The Restoration Project is already showing signs of success—the butterfly population, once as small as 40 individuals, has recently grown to 78 individuals.