Category Archives: 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

Airport 101: Birds, Planes, and Honeybees

Back in October, I was able to attend the Airport 101 educational program offered by the Port of Seattle, in partnership with The Common Acre.  The program is part of the Port 101 Series offered each year and provides the public a chance to tour SeaTac’s airfield and learn about the current challenges facing the Airport, its projected growth and development plans, and its wildlife management program.

SeaTac Airport was the fastest-growing airport in the U.S. for 2014, and it’s not slowing down.  The passenger growth rate was 4.7% for 2013, and 7.7% for 2014.  As of October, the growth rate was already 13.4% for 2015, and this trend is expected to continue over the next 20 years.  The Airport is projected to reach 66 million annual passengers in 2034 (compared to 37.5 million in 2014).  The property’s size constraints (2.5 square miles) present a unique challenge when addressing this rapid growth. 

The Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP) is in development in order to help accommodate this level of growth, meet the needs of travelers, and reduce environmental impacts.  SAMP’s focus areas include airfield enhancements, terminal development, roadway improvements, and expansion opportunities.  Based on projected growth, it is estimated SeaTac will require 35 additional standard aircraft gates and 16 additional international wide-body gates.  The International Arrivals zone is an especially high-need area, with peak passenger levels of 1,700 – 1,900 per hour in an area designed to accommodate 1,200 per hour.

You may recall the story of Captain “Sully” Sullenberger’s emergency landing on the Hudson River back on January 15, 2009, after his plane’s engines were disabled by a huge flock of birds flying directly into them.  The large expanses of open land surrounding most airports have a tendency to attract wildlife which, as Captain Sullenberger learned firsthand, can be dangerous.  In order to both maintain safety and protect local wildlife, SeaTac Airport employs a comprehensive wildlife management program.  SeaTac became the first U.S. airport to employ a full-time biologist back in the 1970s, and became the world’s first airport to utilize aviation radar to detect on- or near-site bird activity in 2007.  The program employs various methods to divert potentially hazardous wildlife – especially large flocking birds – from the airport area, including habitat modification, netting, and fencing.

Habitat modification helped pave the way for SeaTac’s honeybee conservation program.  In partnership with The Common Acre, SeaTac became one of the first airports to host an apiary.  On a 20-acre former golf course, the Port of Seattle planted over 20,000 plants to create a honeybee habitat.  The area became home to 500,000 honeybees in June 2013.  With bee populations in decline, the program’s goal is to help grow and sustain the local population, while contributing to the Port’s conservation efforts.

The program is part of a broader movement to restore honeybee populations, and the hives are managed by the Urban Bee Company, which produces and sells the cultivated honey and beeswax products.

Recommended Viewing: 

A short video about the SeaTac honeybees is available via the Port’s website: Click Here

Also available is a video about the use of aviation radar at SeaTac: Click Here


Photo Credit: Kristen Wolf

Duwamish Waterway – Superfund Site and Home to 100,000+ Jobs

– – Photo by Kit Case

I had the pleasure of taking a boat tour of the Duwamish Waterway as part of the Port101 educational program offered by the Port of Seattle, together with its partners: Lower Duwamish Waterway Group (Boeing, City of Seattle, King County, Port of Seattle), Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, Manufacturing Industrial Council, Vigor Shipyards, and Delta Marine Industries.  As the boat cruised upriver, a variety of speakers provided an in-depth narrative with stories of the past and current inhabitants of the waterway, both businesses and peoples.

In 1913, the Duwamish River was tamed, removing the common problem of flooding and improving access for ship traffic when a 9-mile stretch of the meandering, shallow river was shaped and formed into a 5-mile stretch of dredged channel – the Lower Duwamish Waterway.  Historically, the river was the breadbasket of the greater Seattle area.  Foods were brought by canoe from the shores of the river to market.  Fishing was – and still is – fruitful.  Six salmon species return upriver to spawn each year.  With the dredging of the channel and the creation of Harbor Island from those dredge materials and material from the Denny and Jackson regrade projects, industry began to take hold along the river.  Today, the five-mile-long Duwamish Waterway provides over 100,000 jobs and represents 80% of Seattle’s industrial land.  Most of the businesses along the river are family-owned and provide family-wage jobs. Vigor Shipyards, Delta Marine Industries, Alaska Marine Lines and many others line the waterway.

As industry replaced homes and small farms, toxic waste became more of an issue.  Until 1958, untreated sewage was directed to the Duwamish.  Even since then, sewage overflows have continued to be emptied into the river. By the 1970s, abuse of the waterway was rampant.  If there was a toxic spill on the river, it was intentional.  ‘Dilution was the solution to pollution’ – it was common practice to toss industrial waste into the river, with the thought that it would be diluted and carried out to sea.  In 2001, the Lower Duwamish was declared a Superfund Site, placing it on the Environmental Protection Agency‘s list of the nation’s most contaminated sites.  The EPA has now released it’s Proposed Clean-up Plan, which provides for 7 years of active clean-up measures followed by 10 years of hoped-for “natural recovery.” Slowly, progress towards protecting the Duwamish is being made.

Several ‘Early Action’ Clean-up Sites have already been completed or are underway, many spearheaded by local businesses along the river.  Seattle Iron and Metals, one of the Northwest’s leading recyclers of metals, was relocated by the Port of Seattle to a site upriver.  The facility sits along the shore on 9.5 acres of 10-inch thick concrete capping a sophisticated water catchment and treatment facility.  Alaska Marine Lines, in collaboration with the University of Washington, installed a catchment and treatment system in 1989 that treats storm water runoff to household standards before it is released into the waterway.

Boeing has undertaken the removal, clean up and restoration of Plant 2, the second manufacturing plant built and run by Boeing, where ‘Rosie the Riveter’ worked building military aircraft during WWII.  Much of the plant had been built on pilings over the river, and the soil in and near the river had become contaminated after decades of manufacturing on the site. Boeing will be removing the remaining structure, overhanging tarmac and pilings and will remove over 200,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the site.  All building materials will be recycled.  Boeing has installed storm water treatment systems at the Plant 2 site as well as North Boeing Field.  The state-of-the-art system at Plant 2 will treat an estimated 84 million gallons annually, cleaning the storm water before releasing it into the Duwamish Waterway.  Boeing is restoring more than 3,000 of natural shoreline and has created 5 acres of intertidal wetlands and wildlife habitat. Once completed, it will represent the largest restoration project of its kind on the Waterway.

King5 TV recently reported on the Plant 2 restoration project.  The video of their report includes fantastic fly-over and on-the-ground shots of the project.