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2015 Environmental Improvement Award Winners

Comprehensive Environmental Management

Port of Tacoma - “General Central Peninsula Stormwater Improvements Project” 

Over the years the Port of Tacoma has invested millions of dollars to remediate historical contamination from heavy industry in the area, restoring tideflats ecosystems and wildlife habitats once designated as Superfund sites. The port has now been working with EPA and state agencies to avoid recontamination from polluted stormwater runoff from its diverse properties, including rail yards, marine terminals, manufacturing and road networks. Project goals were met by bringing together a team from engineering, environment, commercial and finance sectors to design and test multiple treatment approaches. Innovative site-specific stormwater treatment approaches have signifi­cantly reduced pollutants using cost-effective construction and main­tenance. This technology can be adapted to other ports as well.

Stakeholder Awareness, Education and Involvement

Port of New Orleans - “Trash Free Waters Project”

The Port of New Orleans instituted a four-month pilot project as part of EPA’s national “Trash Free Waters” program to reduce litter and debris. A diverse stakeholder task force launched initiatives such as a “Keep It Clean” campaign, additional truck route receptacles, decora­tive drainscapes, innovative waste reduction and recycling strategies and floatable pollution and mitigation technologies. The involvement of port tenants and operators, government agencies and community organizations established a valuable model for building and strength­ening relationships for future collaboration on complex issues.

Environmental Enhancement

Port Fourchon - “Beach and Dune Restoration Utilizing Geotubes” 

Port Fourchon designed this project to restore approximately a mile of fragile beach and headland ravaged by several tropical storms and hurricanes. A 10’ diameter fabric mesh Geotube filled with sand was laid along the shore and supplemented with additional sand on top and at its base to form a dune and beach platform. This construction protects a unique wetlands area and wildlife habitat and provides storm surge protection to the port and the Gulf of Mexico’s critical energy infrastructure such as oil and gas pipelines. Following comple­tion of the structure phase completed in 2013, the Greater Lafourche Port Commission partnered with Nicholl’s State University’s Depart­ment of Biological Sciences to design plantings to help stabilize and sustain the project. As these plantings become established, they help eliminate maintenance costs and provide valuable research informa­tion for future projects.

Port of Long Beach - "West Anaheim Street Improvement Project"

This project provided major improvements in a gateway link from the I-710 corridor to the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. An initial outreach program helped assess the needs of port tenants, local busi­ness, and the general community to minimize construction impact. Repair of a deteriorating stretch of pavement that handled a high volume of traffic, including heavy-duty trucks serving the ports, was expanded to include better stormwater management and pollution reduction, improvements to sidewalks and bus stops, improved pedes­trian and handicapped access, new LED streetlights, and installation
of drought-tolerant landscaping for medians and parkways with over 100 new trees. Sustainable practices even included stockpiling and recycling of removed pavement. As the first in a series of public works at the port, this 14-month project provides a model of sustainable design and enables the core infrastructure to meet the needs of the world-class port that it serves.