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2008 Environmental Improvement Award Winners

Environmental Enhancement

WINNER: Port of Portland "Natural Resources Management Program"

The Port of Portland's Natural Resources Management Program was established on the idea that "the natural world doesn't end or begin at the port's property lines." Portland's mission to enhance the quality of life in the region came about in three creative and meaningful environmental projects: streaked horned lark habitat creation, invasive species management and management for the coexistence of wildlife and marine operations. Portland, has "set the bar very high" said an impressed judge, and its Natural Resources Management Program is "cost- effective without being high-tech." The Port of Portland states, "These projects reflect our mission to enhance quality of life in the region and our belief that protecting the integrity of the natural environment will help the Port meet its trade mission for decades to come."

Comprehensive Environmental Management

WINNER:  Port of Seattle, Port of Tacoma and Port Metro Vancouver "Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy"

The ports of Seattle, Tacoma and Port Metro Vancouver (Canada), have come up with a regional strategy to reduce maritime and port-related diesel and greenhouse gas emissions in the Georgia Basin-Puget Sound air shed. The Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy lays out a framework for achieving significant early emissions reductions that impact air quality and climate change in the Pacific Northwest. "The regional approach was very important," stated one of the comptition's judges, and the unique approach in which there is "a menu of voluntary options that different areas can use but still set aggressive goals" impressed another judge. The ports estimate that they, along with regulatory agencies, port customers and tenants, will all save significant amounts of money by implementing emissions reductions activities though such flexible, non-regulatory means.

Environmental Mitigation

WINNER: Port of Anacortes "Fidalgo Bay Eelgrass Mitigation Project"

The Port of Anacortes is one of the largest commercial shipyards in the Puget Sound, and July 2008 marked the start of the redevelopment of the facilities main terminal, Pier 1. However the planning for this Pier 1 project started back in the early 1990s and has included an innovative approach to mitigation of environmental impacts. Critical to the redevelopment was the removal of the eelgrass beds and critical aquatic habitat within the areas that were to be dredged, and relocating the eelgrass to a safer location, so that the species that live within can survive.

In doing so, the Port of Anacortes "developed new approaches to interagency agreements for advance off-site mitigation, created new technical tools for the measurement of biological ‘success' of the constructed mitigation site and overcame agency uncertainties about approval of advance mitigation for future port development projects." One judge said, "It was great the way the port managed to ‘overplan' and establish credits for the future."     

Stakeholder Awareness, Education and Involvement

WINNER: Port Freeport "Zeus Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Project" - [Pictures]

Posing an imminent threat to the environment, economy and security in the Port Freeport channel and surroundings, the mobile offshore drilling unit, otherwise known as Zeus, was successfully decontaminated and removed. Those key participants involved in the project were the Texas General Land Office, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, Brazoria County Environmental Health Department, Brazos Pilots Association and stakeholders from the significant local petrochemical industry. In the award submission, Port Freeport highlighted "the team effort fostered by the port," which "enabled the project to proceed in an organized and safe fashion." One of the judges commended the port for involving a local school in this project.