The goods movement activities of ships, trucks, trains, cargo-handling equipment, and harbor craft at the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles are major sources of air pollution. As a result, these two San Pedro Bay ports developed a Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP), a cooperative, sweeping, aggressive strategy to significantly reduce the health risks posed by air pollution from port-related sources. Through source specific control measures for heavy-duty vehicles, ocean-going vessels, cargo-handling equipment, harbor craft, and railroad locomotives, it is estimated that in five years under the CAAP, diesel particulate matter from all port-related sources will be reduced by a total of 1,200 tons per year and nitrogen oxide emissions are estimated to be reduced by 12,000 tons per year. "The way they involved the community was incredible," said an impressed judge. "They raised the bar high for other ports."
Fantasy Island is a four-acre island constructed of dredge material that was created in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The island fell victim to several non-native plant species and became inhospitable for visitors. Partnering with the Florida Aquarium, the Tampa Port Authority worked to remove more than three acres of non-native, invasive vegetation and replaced it with more than 7,000 native plants. A disabilities-accessible dock was built, along with an open-air educational pavilion, a rainwater recovery system and informational kiosk signs. An educational curriculum has been completed in conjunction with the local school district and since opening in May 2006, more than 1,000 students and teachers have benefited from the project through workshops and field trips. As one judge noted, "The Tampa Port Authority took a great opportunity to re-establish a site for multiple uses and education."
For more than ten years, the Santa Marta Bay landscape was hurt by the loading of coal through barges. Because coal is an important national and local resource, the Sociedad Portuaria de Santa Marta S.A. partnered with the Santa Marta Coal Operator to coordinate shipping in a clean and secure method through direct coal shipping. The project has eliminated barge traffic in the Santa Marta Bay and has implemented a systematic truck discharge, minimizing the emissions of particle material. Direct coal loading has not only minimized environmental impacts, but also helps produce economic resources while generating benefits for the community. "This is a great example of turning operational needs into environmental benefits," wrote one judge.
To offset potential impacts of new pier construction in Everett, Washington, the Port of Everett restored approximately 1,100 feet of shoreline habitat in an area where existing infrastructure precludes re-establishment of natural processes. Through addition of sediment, this project has created a more natural beach profile with a beach face, storm berm, and backshore, waterward of the rock bulkhead that supports the BNSF railroad. Physical monitoring has shown that the 335-m pebble/sand beach constructed near Mukilteo has responded to the ambient wave environment as much as predicted through two winters. Biological monitoring has shown a high level of biological activity by juvenile salmonids and forage fish. One judge called the project "a big step in mitigation that will pave the way for a lot of future improvements."
With the goal of informing stakeholders of the port's environmental projects and programs, the Port of Portland developed an Environmental Outreach and Communication Program. The Environmental Outreach Manager directs integration of the outreach and communication program with the port's environmental programs and projects and works with the port environmental program and project managers to use the tools and techniques contained in the Community Integration Guidelines to engage stakeholders. By providing stakeholders with information about the port's environmental projects and a means for stakeholders to provide feedback to program and project decision makers, the exchange builds relationships and effectively engages the community in the environmental aspects of a port authority's work. "It is great to see resources committed to environmental outreach," one judge said. "I loved it and hope to steal ideas from it!" wrote another.