Category Archives: Port of Seattle

Port of Seattle Takes Action on Climate Change and Sustainability

Port builds on solar power pilot at Fishermen’s Terminal with larger solar plan for the roof at Pier 69 Headquarters 

Port of Seattle Commissioners passed an Energy and Sustainability Motion that charts a new course toward the Port’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance sustainability and assess new opportunities for sourcing renewable energy. One of the most tangible aspects of progress on sustainability at the Port is the new solar array currently being installed at Fishermen’s Terminal. The Port’s proposed 2018 budget includes an even larger project to add solar energy to the roof of its Pier 69 building.

“In addition to reducing the Port’s carbon emissions and working to reduce the competing demands on Washington’s hydropower system, these projects demonstrate how the Port can lead efforts to reduce the increasingly obvious impacts of climate change on the environment and our quality of life,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman, who co-chairs the Port’s Energy and Sustainability Committee with Commissioner Courtney Gregoire. 

“Today’s action reinforces the Port of Seattle’s commitment to sustainable economic growth and should encourage expanded innovation in green technology. From biofuels at Sea-Tac Airport to solar panels at Fishermen’s Terminal, we look forward to strengthening partnerships to make our region a market leader in the green economy,” Commissioner Gregoire added. 

Energy and Sustainability

Watch local solar experts and Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman describe current and future renewable energy and sustainability projects at the Port of Seattle.

The Motion will direct the Port of Seattle to:

  1. Develop a Sustainability Evaluation Framework to assist the Commission helping the Port meet its greenhouse gas reduction and sustainability goals by increasing the transparency of project impacts.

  2. Select up to four pilot projects, divided between the airport and maritime, to identify the framework and process that incorporates environmental and societal components in design and decision-making for Port construction and operations. The solar project at Pier 69 should be selected as the first pilot project to test the Port’s new evaluation framework.

  3. Ensure sufficient resources to track greenhouse gas reduction and implement sustainable design principles.

  4. Expand our carbon reduction emission goal in the Port’s Century Agenda to include indirect emissions. The Port’s goal is for Port-controlled and indirect emissions to be carbon neutral or carbon negative by 2050. 

  5. Increase collaboration with the Northwest Seaport Alliance through the Sustainability Center of Expertise.

Fishermens Terminal net shed solar panels


Rendering of solar power array on Fishermen’s Terminal Net Shed 5. The solar panel installation should generate approximately 11,000 kWh of power annually, enough to power the building’s operations. A Washington State based company manufactured the solar panels and a local company will perform installation. Completion: early 2018. 

Pier 69 soalr panel rendering


Rendering of solar power array on Port of Seattle’s Pier 69 office building. The solar panel installation could generate approximately 320,000 kWH of power annually and defer 11,000 lbs. of CO2. The project, if approved, would be partially funded by a grant from Washington State Department of Commerce.


“The Port knows that a more prosperous future is also a cleaner, more sustainable one,” said Vlad Gutman-Britten, Washington Director of Climate Solutions. “These policies put the Port of Seattle on a path towards environmental leadership that reflects the values of this region.”

The Energy and Sustainability Motion marks a major milestone for the Port, which two years ago began significant internal, policy and operational changes that will contribute to a healthier environment and communities. Significant conservation and sustainability actions from the past two years have included:

  • Creating a consolidated Sustainability Center of Expertise to better share information and strategies between environmental experts in aviation and maritime;

  • Establishing the new policy-making Energy and Sustainability Committee that includes Port Commissioners, staff and was advised by external stakeholders;

  • Creating a first-of-its kind Marine Stormwater Utility, which relies on tenants and business unit fees to assess, repair and improve stormwater infrastructure, including adding green infrastructure to manage stormwater;

  • Setting more ambitious goals for reducing Port-controlled carbon emissions;

  • Increasing energy efficiency through upgrades and new equipment, including converting CNG buses to electric;

  • Pursuing opportunities to supply sustainable aviation biofuel to all airlines fueling at Sea-Tac Airport;

  • Sourcing new wind-powered electricity, renewable natural gas and renewable diesel; and

  • Improving the walkway between public transit stations and the airport terminal by adding an electric cart shuttle, increasing wayfinding, adding weatherization panels and improving lighting.

The Port of Seattle set a goal to be the greenest, most energy efficient port in North America. The Port’s environmental programs cover air quality, energy, clean water, habitat and wildlife management, noise abatement, recycling and solid waste management and cleaning up industrial contamination. In addition to maintaining its aviation and maritime facilities, the Port manages 24 acres of waterfront parks using organic landscaping practices.  

Port of Seattle to Develop Property in Sea-Tac, WA

The Port of Seattle Commission voted to select Trammel Crow Company (TCC) as a developer for its Des Moines Creek North site in the City of SeaTac. The proposed development will create more than 356,000 square feet of high quality, light industrial space with supporting warehouse functions within two industrial buildings. Tenants may include food processors, manufacturers, and logistics providers that support the aviation and air cargo industries.

“With this investment, the Port of Seattle continues to provide leadership in economic development,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman. “This land will provide essential industrial and family-wage jobs for our region.”

TCC is one of the nation’s leading developers and investors in commercial real estate, having developed or acquired more than 2,600 buildings valued at more than $60 billion and over 565 million square feet. TCC has created a new, wholly-owned company TC Northwest Development, for this ground lease and investment. TCC was recently named as the #1 Development Company in the US for 2016.

The investment made at Des Moines Creek-North will help advance economic development within the City of SeaTac and for surrounding communities:

  • The project will provide approximately 90+ prevailing wage construction jobs during the build out of the property. At full occupancy, the development will be home to approximately 400+ full-time employees with an estimated payroll of more than $28 million annually.
  • The project complements the nearby Des Moines Creek Business Park by adding additional best-in-class industrial inventory that will continue to attract and retain growing firms, keeping jobs within King County and the nearby region.
  • The design and construction will be completed primarily by locally owned, private small businesses. This further serves to promote small business growth and workforce development.
  • The infill location of Des Moines Creek-North will help reduce sprawl by creating new light industrial facilities adjacent to current road infrastructure, highways, and public transportation.

Located south of the Angle Lake light rail station, this 22.47-acre undeveloped property is zoned Aviation Commercial (“AVC”) and will expand upon the success of the industrial development at the Des Moines Creek Business Park. It will also represent the first new industrial development on Port property in the City of SeaTac in many years. The City of SeaTac has voiced its support for the development here

Photo on

Port of Seattle Purchases Salmon Bay Marina

Property adjacent to Fishermen’s Terminal to support maritime, industrial development

The Port of Seattle Commission voted to purchase Salmon Bay Marina, located on the Ship Canal adjacent to the Port’s Fishermen’s Terminal facility. The five acre property contains five docks supporting 166 slips measuring 6,547 lineal feet of moorage on freshwater.  The purchase price was $15,679,120.


“The purchase of Salmon Bay Marina is a step toward fulfilling our Century Agenda goal to double the number of jobs in our region associated with fishing and maritime and is financially smart for the Port,” said Commission President Tom Albro. “It also protects urban industrial and maritime land, which is also environmentally wise.”

The property was purchased by the Draper family in 1945 and developed into Salmon Bay Marina. Over the next 72 years, four generations of the family served as stewards of the marina, and are excited to see the Port continue its maritime heritage.

There are a number of potential uses for the property, including light industrial facilities that could support maritime and manufacturing companies in the area. The site could support structures in the range of 60,000 square feet.

“Salmon Bay Marina is a valuable waterfront property perfectly suited for continued maritime use,” said Eugene Wasserman, President of the North Seattle Industrial Association. “I thank the Port of Seattle for preserving this industrial property that will provide jobs and tax revenue throughout our region.”

The existing marina slips will remain, although the house boats will be removed prior to the Port taking possession of the property. Environmental remediation from prior tenants may run close to $900,000.

“We applaud the Port of Seattle for purchasing and preserving this unique freshwater recreational boat facility,” said Peter Schrappen, Director of Government Affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association. “These assets are rare, and help maintain maritime and family-wage jobs.”

Click here for more information about the Salmon Bay Marina purchase.

Photo credit: Port of Seattle


Port of Seattle Shares Janitorial Contract Between Small Businesses

New custodial contracts to increase service & opportunities. 

Small and disadvantaged businesses will gain new opportunities under janitorial contracts recently awarded by the Port of Seattle for Sea-Tac Airport.

The Port broke up its large exclusive contract for custodial services into more opportunities that will improve customer service and accountability, and provide revenue opportunities for more small and disadvantaged businesses. The four new contracts cover different parts of the facility, but each will increase performance standards, project an increase in labor hours and number of jobs, and include employee retention and labor harmony provisions to protect workers.

Local, woman-owned small business joins non-profit social enterprise and minority-owned small businesses in awards.

Under the new contracts, small businesses will perform services equal to about 45 percent of the four contracts combined. In addition, each new contract is required to provide employee retention by extending an offer to existing employees for a minimum of 180 days, as well a written labor peace guarantee with the current custodial labor union, SEIU Local 6.

The winning bidders include:

  • C&W Services, a national company based out of Massachusetts, partnering with Whayne Enterprises, a small, minority-owned business based out of Denver, won bids to operate in South Satellite, Concourse A, Concourse B, public pre-security areas such as the ticketing and baggage claim areas.
  • PRIDE Industries, a non-profit social enterprise based in Roseville, California that creates jobs for people with disabilities and veterans, partnering with Evergreen Building Services, LLC, a small, woman-owned business based in Mill Creek, Washington, won a bid to operate in Central Terminal, Concourse C, Concourse D, and North Satellite.
  • Whayne Enterprises won a bid to operate independently in non-public areas such as the bagwell, Airport Office Building, Police/Security areas, and remote facilities.

Read the full story on the Port’s website.

Photo by jronaldlee on / CC BY

Port of Seattle Offers Community Adult Education Series

The Port U series is free and open to adults, 18 years and older. Advance reservations are required. Priority will be given to first-time Port U registrants.

Get the inside scoop on the many functions of the Port of Seattle by taking a free tour! Each tour is guided by Port partners and provides detailed knowledge of the history, current usage and future plans for the Port’s holdings.  Causey Wright has had several staff attend these tours to better understand the workplaces our clients go to every day.  I’ve included a link to our blog posts describing the tours.  

DUWAMISH RIVER 101Read Kit Case’s article about this tour!

Date: Thursday, Sept. 7
Check In: 3:45 p.m.
Program: 4:00–6:30 p.m.
Location: Bell Harbor Marina, Pier 66

The 5-mile-long Duwamish Waterway is important for commerce and jobs, fish and wildlife habitat, and public shoreline use areas. Learn about marine industrial commerce, the legacy of past industrial activities, fish and wildlife habitat restoration, and Superfund cleanup plans.

Partners: Alaska Marine Lines, Boeing, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, and the Environmental Protection Agency

AIRPORT 101Read Kristen Wolf’s article about this tour!

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 13
Check In: 3:45 p.m.
Program: 4:00–6:30 p.m.
Location: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Sea-Tac Airport is the 9th busiest U.S. airport. Learn about upcoming projects including the new International Arrivals Facility, the modernization of the North Satellite and Sea-Tac’s master planning effort that will define redevelopment over the next 20 years.

SHIP CANAL 101Read Michael Leach’s article about this tour!

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 27
Check In: 3:45 p.m.
Program: 4:00–6:30 p.m.
Location: Fishermen’s Terminal

Learn about the wide range of maritime industry businesses and support services that play a key role in making Seattle a focal point for commercial fishing, boat yards, and transportation between Alaska and the Lower 48 states. The Lake Washington Ship Canal is a bustling center of maritime activity.

Partners: Ballard Oil, Pacific Fishermen Shipyard, Washington Maritime Federation, NOAA Fisheries, American Waterways Operators, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Seattle Maritime Academy.

CARGO 101Read Kristen Wolf’s article about this tour!

Date: Thursday, Oct. 5
Check In: 3:45 p.m.
Program: 4:00–6:30 p.m.
Location: Port Headquarters, Pier 69

Tour Terminal 18 and learn about the movement of cargo from ship to truck to train. Hear longshore workers, and stevedores describe their roles in the supply chain and visit the BNSF intermodal rail yard to learn how shipping containers move between the port and the interior of the country.

Partners: SSA Terminals, BNSF Railway, International Longshore and Warehouse Union SHIP


Space is limited, so reserve your spot early!
Questions? Email:, or call 206.787.3009

Photo credit: Port of Seattle image by Don Wilson

Seattle the Biggest Cruise Port on the West Coast

The Port of Seattle recently kicked off the 2017 cruise season with the inaugural visit of Holland America’s Eurodam to Terminal 91. Over one million revenue passengers on 218 vessels this season will make Seattle the biggest cruise port on the West Coast. With eleven ships offering Alaska cruise itineraries, it is a thriving industry that fuels the region’s economy.

The cruise industry in Seattle is responsible for over $500 million in economic impact to the region, providing more than 4,000 jobs and $18.9 million in state and local taxes, with each homeported vessel generating $2.7 million to the local economy.

The Port also will introduce a free cruise luggage valet program that will allow passengers to get their airline boarding pass and check their bags on board so they can spend time in Seattle before flying home. This program is expected to launch in the next several weeks.

For the latest on Cruise Seattle and what it means to our region, click here.



Seattle Port Commission Approves Funding for Design of Solar Project

The Port of Seattle Commission approved funding for design of the Port’s first-ever solar demonstration project. The project at Fishermen’s Terminal is included as part of a routine replacement of net-shed roofs. The net-sheds house the fishing nets and gear for the North Pacific Fishing Fleet.

Solar power has sparked the interest of Commissioners who, this year, convened the Energy and Sustainability Committee to guide the Port’s policies related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy efficiency.

“As we explore innovative policies to guide the reduction of our carbon footprint, I am encouraged that this demonstration project could lead the way for additional solar project opportunities at the Port in the future,” said Port Commissioner Fred Felleman.

Planners estimate that the net-shed solar panels could produce 11,000 kilowatts of electricity per year, reducing carbon emissions by 279 pounds in the first year. The project could be in place by the end of 2017. The demonstration project will be designed to help the Port gain in-house knowledge about the benefits and challenges of solar projects, including installation, operation, and maintenance. The design will also include public education components for visitors to visualize the benefits of solar power.

Engineers are also looking at the feasibility of installing solar panels at Pier 69, the Port of Seattle headquarters on the Seattle Waterfront, as well as other Port properties. The potential exists to offset carbon emissions by hundreds of thousands of pounds per year, reducing greenhouse gases that lead to climate change.

About the Port of Seattle

Founded in 1911, the Port owns and operates Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, two cruise ship terminals, Fishermen’s Terminal — home of the North Pacific Fishing Fleet, one grain terminal, a public cargo terminal, four public marinas, and manages a number of real estate assets for financial return and economic advantage. The port’s operations currently help create nearly 200,000 jobs and $7 billion in wages throughout the region. Over the next 25 years, the port’s “Century Agenda” seeks to create an additional 100,000 jobs through economic growth while becoming the nation’s leading green and energy-efficient port. Learn more at

Port of Seattle Approves Contracted Help to Ease Long Lines at TSA Checkpoints

Ninety temporary private contractors will allow TSA to deploy more staff to checkpoint screening.

The Port of Seattle Commission took action April 12th to speed up Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint lines at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport by hiring temporary private contractors for the summer travel season. The additional contractors will assist passengers so more TSA staff can work screening lanes.

The Port’s action comes after long wait times have built up due to continued double-digit passenger growth and nationwide TSA staffing struggles due to budget restrictions. Washington’s U.S. Senator’s Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray have recently pressed the TSA to find ways to help Sea-Tac, the nation’s fastest growing large hub airport for the last two years.

“These long lines are unacceptable and they’re happening even before our busy summer season, said Port of Seattle Commissioner Tom Albro. “The Port is stepping up to help travelers get through the airport as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are listening to our travelers and making up for TSA staff shortages.”

Areas where private contractors will be deployed include non-security customer service tasks such as bin loading (moving plastic tubs from one end of the screening lane to another), divesting (communicating to travelers what to remove from pockets and bags) and line management (moving travelers to shorter and faster checkpoints). The temporary hiring will last from May through September to cover the busiest travel season (June, July and August are the busiest months of the year at Sea-Tac). The additional staff is expected to be in place by May 1.

The contracted staffing will allow the TSA staff to focus solely on security and open more checkpoint lanes in order to gain higher passenger through put. Currently Sea-Tac has 32 screening lanes but the TSA only has staffing for 17-19 lanes.

“We are taking a very innovative approach to serve our customers while maintaining a high level of security,” said Sea-Tac Managing Director Lance Lyttle. “I understand the frustrations of travelers who are waiting in long TSA security lines. We’re partnering with our airlines and the TSA to take swift action which will help our customers. Sea-Tac is experiencing record passenger growth and this additional security staff is a proactive way to address customer and airline needs to remain a world-class facility.”

In addition to the contracted staff, Port of Seattle Security staff will temporarily take over duties at exit lanes to free up additional TSA staff for the checkpoints. The temporary staffing will be re-evaluated at the end of the summer travel season.

Travelers are encouraged to visit Sea-Tac’s Travel Tips webpage prior to flights to know what items are and are not allowed in carry-on luggage. If you qualify, applying for TSA’s PreCheck program may help speed up your security checkpoint process.

Sea-Tac airport had a 12.9 percent increase in passengers in 2015, and through February, passenger totals are up nine percent compared with this time last year. Because of such growth, it is recommended travelers arrive two hours early for a domestic flight and three hours early for international travel to allow time to park, get through airline ticketing and the security checkpoints.


2016 Seattle Maritime 101 Events – Celebrating our Five-star Working Waterfront

Don’t miss the boat at Seattle’s largest maritime industry celebration presented by Vigor Industrial and sponsored by the Seattle Propeller Club and the Port of Seattle.

Join the fun activities at the 2016 Vigor Seattle Maritime Festival event series. These free, family-oriented events are designed to showcase and celebrate the maritime industry and the men and women who make everything on the waterfront happen. Shipping, fishing, boatbuilding and repair are all happening in our backyard. Come participate and learn.

Special events, public tours and other activities are planned during April and May with the highlight being the Vigor Seattle Maritime Festival from May 12-14, with the Harbor Open House on the Downtown Waterfront on Saturday, May 14. The full schedule can be found here.

April 16
Duwamish Alive! Restoration and Cleanup, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Join us as we celebrate Seattle’s only river by working to restore the Duwamish! Volunteers can sign up:

April 22-26
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Comes to Seattle

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, which benefits Unicef, is the world’s longest ocean adventure, spanning 40,000 nautical miles. The race consists of 12 teams competing against each other. Don’t miss the free open-boat tours at Bell Harbor Marina. Sponsored by Visit Seattle and the Seattle Sports Commission, in partnership with the Port of Seattle and the Seattle Historic Waterfront Association. Details at

May 6
Fishermen’s Terminal Walking Tour, 10 -11 a.m.

The Port of Seattle offers a free walking tour of Fishermen’s Terminal. Limited to 40 people. Reservations required. RSVP:

May 9
18th Annual Maritime Career Day, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Georgetown Campus of South Seattle Community College, 6737 Corson Avenue South

Come meet with representatives from more than 35 businesses, maritime organizations and training schools! Enjoy cool demonstrations and industry displays. Career day is primarily targeted toward middle school and older students, as well as adults interested in a new job or career. Maritime Career Day is sponsored by Harley Marine Service with Compass Courses. For further information:

May 12
Stories of the Sea, 7 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Highliner Public House, Fishermen’s Terminal, 3909 18th Avenue West

Maritime Poetry and Music Slam!!! Share your story of the sea, be it true or imagined. Event limited to 15 performers. To register: Register to perform or just come and enjoy the fun!

May 13
Shilshole Bay Marina Walking Tour, 10 – 11 a.m.

Take an insider’s walking tour of Shilshole Bay Marina. Limited to 40 people. Registration required. Specify Shilshole Bay Marina Tour. RSVP:

May 14
Vigor Seattle Maritime Festival Harbor Open House, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Pier 66 and Downtown Waterfront

Three free harbor tours, Waterfront Chowder Cook-Off, vessel open house at Bell Street Pier, Vigor Welding Booth, government and military displays, face painting, survival suit demonstrations, Center for Wooden Boats kids’ boat building, and other activities.

The free harbor tours are presented by the Port of Seattle. Learn about the Working Waterfront as we cruise Elliott Bay. Board the vessel at Pier 66 one-half hour prior to each departure for a 1 hour tour. Departures are 11:30am, 1pm and 2:30pm. There is a limit of 200 guests for each tour. Limit of four tickets per adult. Details here.

 Photo credit: …-Wink-… via / CC BY-NC-ND

Port 101 Tour, Ship Canal

A couple of months ago, Causey Law Firm gave me the opportunity to take part in a tour of Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal, Ship Canal, and the surrounding Ballard Locks.  The tour was put on by Port of Seattle, and was part of their “Ship 101” tour series.  Through this tour, I came to appreciate just how essential the area is to the shipping and fishing industries of the Northwest.

Our tour started at Fishermen’s Terminal, where we loaded onto Argosy Cruises’ Lady Mary and disembarked to snake through the Terminal’s aisles of docked boats.  Fishermen’s Terminal serves as a freshwater haven, providing moorage for over 600 of the Pacific Northwest’s fishing and pleasure vessels. 

While moorage for pleasure craft was first allowed back in 2001, the Terminal has still retained its industrial roots.  Fishing boats were everywhere I looked, and the places on shore seemed to primarily serve the fishermen and women heading to and from the rich fishing areas off the coast of Alaska.  As the Lady Mary shimmied its way to the Ship Canal proper, I could see dozens of ships, large and small, streaming sparks and glimmering with fresh paint as repair crews made sure they were ready for their next voyage.  Maritime business seems to thrive here, with Vigor Industrial building and repairing boats, Ballard Oil fueling them, Trident Seafood processing their goods, and Foss Maritime shipping those goods and providing towboats as needed.  

In fact, Seattle’s highly experienced maintenance, repair, and shipbuilding workforce is a key factor driving Alaskan fishing fleets to travel all the way down to moor at Fishermen’s terminal.  Another is the fact that the Terminal’s moorage is in freshwater, which is significantly less corrosive on ships’ hulls than seawater.  Furthermore, the Terminal is home to a variety of facilities that serve the crews themselves.  Restaurants, a barber shop, maritime law offices, safety training schools, and a post office inhabit Fisherman’s Terminal, providing fishermen easy access to the services they need most. 

Freshwater moorage would not be possible without the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks.  Commonly known as the Ballard Locks, it provides boats a way to travel between Puget Sound and Lake Washington by traversing a series of chambers and gates that slowly raise or lower the vessel into the desired waterway.  The locks ensure that The Boat Canal and Lake Washington maintain the salinity of their freshwater by keeping them roughly 20 feet higher in elevation than the salty Puget Sound’s low tide.  The locks also have a fish ladder, allowing migrating salmon to travel to and from spawning grounds.  Perhaps what surprised me most was that this unassuming yet incredibly useful feat of engineering carries more boat traffic than any other lock in the United States, and attracts over a million visitors annually.  With botanical gardens just across the canal from industrial wharves and marinas, it was refreshing to see a space where form and function melded so easily.

After the Lady Mary returned to its moorage at Fishermen’s Terminal, I thanked the tour guides for their informative narrations and, on a whim, decided to grab a bite to eat.  I walked towards a Fishermen’s Terminal pub just as fishermen and support staff got off their shifts and headed in the same direction.  As I dug into a basket of fish and chips and slurped a local IPA after my not-so-long and not-so-treacherous voyage, I couldn’t help but admire the workers that began to fill the place.   I may be a landlubber, but it felt good to be surrounded by these hard-working men and women, and for a moment I almost felt like one of them.  Almost. 


Photo credit: Tim Buss via / CC BY