Environmental protection and land use planning issues have been increasingly important to public ports in Washington State, and throughout the United States, for many years. Port commissioners and staff must balance the region’s strong environmental protection goals with the reality of global competition.
Ports often operate at the interface of land and water, and are located in areas crucial to plant and animal life. In addition, many ports develop property in heavy industrial areas contaminated for generations. Ports have become adept at blending the federal, state, and local environmental mandates while recognizing the need for economic development. Some ports have invested heavily in environmental cleanups, preparing areas for future development.