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Yearly Archives: 2020

Discover 100! A rich history, a unique location

Port of Kalama enjoys a rich history that weaves through time along waterways, railways and roadways to drive home why transportation continues to be the community’s mainstay today.

The Columbia River attracted a steady stream of settlers like namesake Hawaiian John Kalama who arrived in Kalama in 1837 to act as a middleman between local Cowlitz Tribe and the Hudson Bay Company.

When Kalama first wandered into the locale that now bears his name, he was struck by its beauty. Gentle green slopes ran down to the deep, massive Columbia River slicing its way through the valley.

In 1870, the Irish and Chinese arrived to work on the railroad. The Scandinavians with interests in fishing and logging settled in Kalama as well.

Progress continued; and today highway, rail and water meet in Kalama at some of the most efficient transportation networks in the country. Kalama’s particular landscape gave birth to a booming transportation system impacting the area both culturally and economically—ultimately transforming the area into its position today as an internationally-connected community. Much of what made Kalama replete and thriving in the past, still holds true today. Kalama remains an ideal place to do business and an enviable quality of life.

Check out this entertaining video to learn more!

We love it here! Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

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Port of Kalama commissioners move to accept City of Longview’s Chief Lelooska totem pole for restoration, relocation to Kalama

The City of Longview recently approved the deaccessioning of the Lelooska Campfire Totem Pole for removal from its current location on Commerce Avenue for restoration and relocation to the Port of Kalama. Much like the Port of Kalama’s iconic Lelooska Totem Poles, the Longview artifact is also in need of repair.

The City of Longview initially reached out to the Lelooska Foundation for assistance in the repair and restoration of the weathered pole. Because the Foundation was already working with the Port of Kalama on their own totem pole restorations, when they heard that Longview would be removing the pole and unable to restore it, they suggested the city approach the Port regarding adding the Longview pole to their collection for restoration and ongoing maintenance.

All entities agreed that the best way to provide public access to this totem pole would be for the city to deaccession the totem pole for transport to the Foundation for restoration funded by the Port of Kalama and then on to the Port as a permanent new home.

The Longview totem pole was carved by Chief Lelooska for the Camp Fire USA Lower Columbia Council and was sculpted from western red cedar and is about 30 feet tall and 2’11” in diameter. It commemorates the Camp Fire Council in the Longview community and was first displayed in the spring of 1961.

“We are pleased to add the Camp Fire Totem Poles to our collection of these iconic and very popular artifacts—thank you to the City of Longview and the Lelooska Foundation for entrusting us with restoration, maintenance and creating a new home for the piece,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “We are pleased to place them together on the waterfront for everyone to enjoy.”

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Port of Kalama approves resolution to support dams in the Columbia / Snake River System

The Port of Kalama has approved  a resolution to fully support dams in the Federal Columbia-Snake River System. The resolution will be submitted to the Washington State Legislature.  The Port of Kalama supports the continued operation of the dams within the Federal Columbia-Snake River System due to their importance to irrigation; flood control; recreation; fuel-efficient, safe, low-emission cargo transportation;  and the reliability of the Northwest electric grid which provides carbon-free, renewable, reliable, and low-cost energy making them an important component of a clean energy future.

Citing the need for a strong working river system throughout the Pacific Northwest, the Port commission strongly supports the dams stating:

The dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers provide navigable waters to sustain the region’s marine-dependent economy, irrigation, flood control and recreation for the residents of Washington state and the Pacific Northwest.

The Port of Kalama handles cargo shipped on the Federal Columbia-Snake River System and exports that cargo globally.

The Lower Snake River Dams enable irrigation for over 7 million acres of farmland producing $8 billion in agricultural income; and

The Lower Snake River Dams enabled barging of approximately 9 million tons of cargo in 2014 valued at over $3 billion.

The Federal Columbia-Snake River System is the top wheat export gateway in the U.S. handling over half of the country’s exported wheat from 11 U.S. states, is the second most important export system in the U.S. for corn and soybeans, and is the west coast’s largest export system for wood products and minerals.

In addition, the Lower Snake River Dams are some of the least expensive to operate and, with the cost of power generated by the dams ranging from $10 to $14 per megawatt-hour, provide some of the greatest value for BPA customers; and

Based on studies and BiOps carried out by NOAA Fisheries, the Commission endorses the position that hydroelectric dams and salmon can coexist.

Given that the CRSO EIS process is well-underway and expected to be concluded in 2020, the Commission believes the $750,000 allocated to study the impacts of the removal of the Lower Snake River Dams to be duplicative and should have been allocated to science-based, high-priority salmon restoration projects, increased hatchery production and law enforcement activities in the Puget Sound region that will have a direct impact on Orca survival in their primary habitat.

For more information: https://www.snakeriverfaces.com/facts

And check out this informational video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ku2bdXHxsZk

 

Kalama Snake River dam resolution Port of Kalama Resolution 1099

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Discover 100! Our humble beginnings and the railroad that put Kalama on the map

Imagine. The 1870s in Kalama. Way back when the Northern Pacific Railroad was constructed between Tacoma and our humble town. That one bold development is what really put Kalama on the map.

Early developers purchased 700 acres here in Kalama and broke ground for the terminus of the new railroad in May 1870. And just like that—the population started to grow with employees of the railroad operations.

Kalama’s population swelled to 3,500 with the railroad building a dock, a sawmill, a car shop, a roundhouse, a turntable, hotels, a hospital, stores, and homes. Soon added to the burgeoning town of Kalama were, of course, saloons, a brewery, and a gambling hall! And the naturally deep segment of river meant sailing vessels could reliably reach Kalama adding to the commerce.

The 1870s are also when trains floated on the Columbia River!

After the Civil War railroads knit the country together, laying tracks at a furious pace but those tracks stopped at the edge of the Columbia River—right here in Kalama.

For 25 years, from 1883 to 1909, the train was ferried across the river by the world’s 2nd largest ferry at that time – the Tacoma – which could transport either 12 passenger cars or 27 freight cars across the Columbia River from Kalama to Goble, Oregon.

And the beloved Minnetonka was the little engine that could pull that big train on and off the ferry.

One auspicious visitor to float across the Columbia by train immediately saw the potential of the region. Teddy Roosevelt foretold the success of the yet-to-be established Port of Kalama in a 1903 speech:

“I realize as every thinking man must the wonderful future that lies before this state, for it is one in which in its future development is going to show as great and varied industrial growth as New York or Pennsylvania.”

And now look at you now, Port of Kalama! Happy 100th years of progress!

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Port of Kalama honored with award for river safety, environmental stewardship

Congratulations, Port of Kalama! The Maritime Fire and Safety Association today presented the Port of Kalama a MFSA Partnership Award. An important partner for the Port, MFSA is the leading provider and advocate of safe, environmentally responsible, and cost-effective response services to commercial vessels in the Columbia Willamette River Marine Transportation System.

The Port of Kalama is honored to be an active member of the MFSA and we so appreciate being honored for our own commitment to river safety, environmental stewardship and service to our visiting commercial vessels. Thank you!

Port of Kalama recently participated in the 2019 4th Quarter Training Exercise in Kalama which was organized by the Kalama Fire District No 5, hosted by TEMCO LLC, and other local industry leaders such as Steelscape LLC, Kalama Export LLC, and Emerald Kalama Chemical participated.

Thank you to Kalama Fire District No 5 Chief Victor Leatzow for the picture of Port of Kalama Commissioner Randy Sweet accepting the award.

In case you wondered………

Here’s a little history on the Maritime Fire and Safety Association. The following timeline of events and establishments brought the MFSA to what it is today:

1982 – Protector Alpha fire in Kalama, Washington on the Columbia River.
1984 – The Lower Columbia Maritime Fire Safety Plan was developed.
1986 – The Fire Protection Agencies Advisory Council (FPAAC) was formed.

FPAAC was formed to set forth a comprehensive system to ensure effective response shipboard fires in the Lower Columbia Region, and then purchased and delivered the first specialized equipment to participating fire agencies for fighting shipboard fires. The FPAAC is currently comprised of 13 fire agencies located throughout the river system. These agencies voluntarily contribute both staff time and equipment costs for participation in meetings, drills and other training exercises.

Realizing the importance of maintaining a stable funding source, the MFSA Membership approved a per vessel assessment, which is collected from all ocean-going vessels that call at a member’s dock. This funding goes towards the purchase of specialized marine firefighting equipment and provides for the ongoing training and education of member fire agencies in the response to vessel emergencies.

In 1991, the Lower Columbia Maritime Fire Safety Plan was revised to include oil spill response and preparedness which brought the development of MFSA Umbrella Oil Spill Contingency Plan (now the MFSA Vessel Response Plan or “the Plan”) in the beginning of 1991.

1990 – Passage of the Oil Pollution Act in direct response to the Exxon Valdez spill.

1992 – The MFSA and Clean Rivers Cooperative, Inc. signed a memorandum of agreement.

This agreement allowed MFSA to designate Clean Rivers Cooperative response equipment and resources in the Plan. Clean Rivers Cooperative serves as the state approved Primary Response Contractor (PRC) to MFSA and provides oil spill coverage for its own membership’s facility response plans in addition to the vessels MFSA provides coverage.

1993 – The contingency plan received approval from Oregon DEQ and the Washington Office of Marine Safety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Port of Kalama Commissioner Randy Sweet accepts the award for river safety, environmental stewardship and service to maritime commerce at the Port of Kalama.

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Port of Kalama’s Spencer Creek Business Park is now available for development

The 70-acre mixed-use commercial property is located just off I-5 in Kalama and is ready to lease property to commercial businesses

The Port of Kalama this week announces that the Spencer Creek Business Park is now available for development and lease. Located north of Kalama River Road right off of Interstate 5, the much-anticipated Business Park offers 70 acres of developable commercial property that will support a mix of light industrial and commercial ventures including:

• Lodging/Hospitality
• Services
• Retail
• Food/Beverage
• Convenience
• Gas Station
• More

Since 2014, the Port has invested in the preliminary infrastructure and construction of the site including filling and grading, installation of storm water treatment systems, and road improvements to make way for new commercial development. While East Port will be built out over 20 years, business park construction and operational activities are projected to support more than 1,000 jobs and millions of dollars in new local economic activity.

“Maybe one of the region’s best kept secrets, this Port of Kalama commercial property, offers some of the best value and opportunity for businesses interested in affordability, accessibility and infrastructure-rich land on which to grow,” says Ted Sprague, president, Cowlitz Economic Development Council. “Spencer Creek Business Park offers an A+ location right off of I-5 with infrastructure in place for businesses looking to serve a well-trafficked stretch of the corridor. And best of all, developers get a long-term, committed, visionary and innovative partner in the Port of Kalama.”

The City of Kalama and the Port together earned the 2014 Governor’s Smart Communities Award for their collaboration on planning the multi-use business property which is expected to boost the region’s available commercial property, economy and job opportunities while strengthening the city’s revenue base.

“We fully expect the development of Spencer Creek Business Park to attract new businesses to the region and provide more family wage jobs here,” said the president of the Port of Kalama Commissioner Troy Stariha. “Not only are we expanding recreational and employment opportunities for the region, we’re offering first-rate facilities that will draw visitors and investment from throughout our region and beyond.”

Interested developers and businesses should contact Liz Newman, marketing manager, Port of Kalama, 360-673-2379.

For more information on available properties, click here. 

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Welcome, 2020: it’s a big year for the Port of Kalama! Discover 100!

Happy New Year! As we welcome 2020, we look to a big milestone for the Port of Kalama! Our Discover! campaign turns to a focus on our history and 100 years of progress. Join us!

There’s so much to celebrate. We are the fortunate heirs of visionaries, who a century ago formed the Port of Kalama in a beautiful land on a strategic location along the Columbia River.

The Port of Kalama is unique. We leverage international economic prosperity with environmental stewardship—all in partnership with the people of this community—to ensure a rich quality of life.

At the intersection of waterways, railways and roadways, you’ve helped make the Port of Kalama the 3rd largest bulk exporter on the West Coast.

Help us tell the story!

As we celebrate our Centennial Birthday, we want to hear from you—you, our neighbors. You, who like us, call this special place home.

We will celebrate the Port of Kalama’s rich history in Spring 2020. And we want your help telling the stories of people who worked at the Port, whether that’s you or someone you know. Do you have news clippings? Photos? Any story—past or present is welcome.

Contact us today to share in the celebration—our mutual place in history. Just visit us at https://portofkalama.com/mystory/

Happy New Year!

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