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Category Archives: Press Releases

Discover! Port of Kalama named third largest bulk exporter on the West Coast, 16th largest in the nation

The Port of Kalama has again been named the third largest bulk exporter on the West Coast right after Los Angeles and Long Beach, California according to the US Census Bureau and USA Trade Online. Handling well over 13 million metric tons of bulk commodities, the Port of Kalama weighs in as one of the West Coast’s largest exporters.

The Columbia River is the third largest grain export gateway in the world, exporting more than 50% of the nation’s wheat. Today, 50 million tons of cargo travel up and down the Columbia River. The Port of Kalama plays a key role in the Northwest’s robust export trade industry.

The Port of Kalama is home to 30 industries employing more than 1,200 people, who choose the Port for its superior customer service and business support.

Honoring 100 years of service to the nation’s booming export business

As they celebrate 100 years of service, the Port of Kalama is no stranger to international trade, commerce and transportation. Port of Kalama enjoys a rich history that weaves through time along waterways, railways and roadways to drive home why transportation and commerce like bulk exports continues to be the community’s mainstay today.

On Monday, December 22, 1919, a group of Kalama residents met at the Kalama Business Men’s Club to discuss the formation of a port district. By May, 1920, the Port of Kalama was born of a local election process.

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.

Currently, there are 75 public port districts in Washington. Large and small, east and west, Washington’s ports are active in many different areas of economic development, providing jobs and economic stimulation for their communities.

The Port of Kalama is honored to be recognized as such a significant player in the nation’s booming export trade industry.

 

 

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Port of Kalama prepares for demolition of building formerly home to Absolute Concrete Colors

The Port dismantles the building to make way for redevelopment and beautification of the area

The Port of Kalama will demolish the building formerly occupied by Absolute Concrete Colors starting the week of August 17, 2020. The building is located at 1265 N. Hendrickson Drive, just off exit 30.

The building was originally built in 1985 for EZE Products and was most recently home to Absolute Concrete Colors. The building also housed North Star Yachts as a manufacturing facility.

The soil under the building was contaminated with hydrocarbons during its use. Most of the site was cleaned up by the operator that caused the contamination, but the area beneath the building was difficult to treat.  While the levels are modest, they still exceed state standards. Demolition of the building and removal of the concrete floor will allow work to commence on this persistent issue.

“In addition to facilitating the cleanup, this building has served its purpose for industrial tenants and is now obsolete to serve today’s mixed use and light industrial needs,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “We are discussing plans for redevelopment and beautification of this entrance to the Port once the site has been restored.”

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With summer in full-swing, please be careful around the water

Welcome, Summer! There’s no better season to enjoy the natural beauty and outdoor recreation that abound here in Kalama.

As a key contributor to the Kalama community, the Port is responsible for providing and enhancing public recreational opportunities. Nestled on the banks of the Columbia River, the Port of Kalama is home to miles of riverfront walking paths, world-class fishing, recreational marina and acres of public parks.

Safety first!

While we urge our guests to enjoy the riverfront amenities, we also remind you to be mindful of the power of the Columbia River—swift currents and steep banks can pose risks to even the strongest of swimmers. So please be careful, watch the kids, and wear life vests.  

We hope you’ll safely enjoy the Port’s parks for:

  • Beaches and waterfront boating and fishing
  • Sporting facilities for soccer, baseball, tennis, football
  • Equestrian arena
  • Picnic facilities and covered areas
  • Play structures
  • Walking paths

Wishing you a happy and healthy Summer 2020!

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Watch for trains: be safe when heading back to Port parks this summer!

Since Kalama’s humble beginnings, we’ve had a long, rich history with our friends who operate the railroads. The Port was born of its roots as a transportation hub—and the BNSF runs right through our riverfront property.

As you head out for long-awaited summertime festivities, please be aware of the railroad and train traffic. We want you and your family to be safe!

The following track safety tips are brought to you by our friends at BNSF and Operation Lifesaver Rail Safety Education.

Now, enjoy the parks and have a fabulous summer!

Track Safety Basics

  1. Freight trains don’t travel at fixed times, and schedules for passenger trains often change. Always expect a train at each highway-rail intersection at any time.
  2. All train tracks are private property. Never walk on tracks; it’s illegal trespass and highly dangerous.
  3. It takes the average freight train traveling at 55 mph more than a mile—the length of 18 football fields—to stop. Trains cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision.
  4. Trains have the right of way 100% of the timeover emergency vehicles, cars, the police and pedestrians.
  5. A train can extend three feet or more beyond the steel rail, putting the safety zone for pedestrians well beyond the three-foot mark. If there are rails on the railroad ties, always assume the track is in use, even if there are weeds or the track looks unused.
  6. Trains can move in either direction at any time.Sometimes its cars are pushed by locomotives instead of being pulled, which is especially true in commuter and light rail passenger service.
  7. Today’s trains are quieter than ever, producing no telltale “clackety-clack.”Any approaching train is always closer, moving faster, than you think.
  8. Remember to cross train tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings, and obey all warning signs and signals posted there.
  9. Stay alert around railroad tracks. Refrain from texting, headphones or other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train; never mix rails and recreation.

 

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Anchorage Launch Services signs lease for new commercial dock space at Port of Kalama

Port of Kalama announced today that Anchorage Launch Services has signed a contract to lease the Port’s new commercial dock and operate their maritime transportation services. The new tenant will use the dock as its Anchorage Launch Services Terminal to provide light cargo and commercial passenger services to the maritime shipping industry on the Columbia River from Astoria to Portland/Vancouver—and everywhere in between. Anchorage Launch Services delivers supplies, goods and products to ships to keep their operations moving efficiently.

“There is not a facility like the Port of Kalama’s commercial wharf on the entire Columbia River—this exceptional centrally-located facility includes a crane and forklift to keep us operating 24/7, 365 days a year and that enables us to serve ships more efficiently than ever,” says Alex Scott, chief operating officer, Anchorage Launch Services. “This new facility and home for our operations raises the bar on what we can offer our clients—our new terminal will save untold amounts of time and dollars for the maritime industry. This could not be a better location to serve commerce on the entire river.”

The Port modified and refurbished components of a barge to develop the long-planned commercial dock last year and prepare for a maritime client including furnishing and installing bulkheads, bullrails, fenders, ladders, new spud piles and a gangway landing platform.

“We are incredibly excited to have a maritime service provider like Anchorage Launch Services serving clients from our new commercial wharf,” says Troy Stariha, president, Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners. “Not only will their presence here better serve our visiting commercial ships—and those at ports along the Columbia River—but the growing business will add local jobs and contribute to the local economy as operations get underway. We are delighted they have chosen the Port of Kalama to call home.”

The Port of Kalama is located in Southwest Washington just off I-5 on the Columbia River. It boasts an industrial area that includes five miles of riverfront property adjacent to the 43′ federally-maintained deep draft navigation channel. There are over 30 businesses located at the Port of Kalama, employing over 1,200 people. The port offers industrial sites, Industrial Park, new Business Park and state of the art Marine Terminals just 30-minutes from Portland International Airport.

 

 

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Update on damage to the Port of Kalama Marina

We confirmed that the damage to the Port of Kalama marina was caused by a swell and then a suction of the water from a cargo vessel which seriously impacted the marina structures.  We believe the cargo vessel was passing in the river channel at an excessive speed.

After reviewing the Port’s security video and Automatic Identification System (AIS) tracking information, we believe the excessive wake was caused by the SM MUMBAI. Further investigation will be ongoing.

The Port security camera captured video of the wake / wave impacting the marina, which occurred at around 4a and can be viewed here.

Thank you so much to the community and our marina patrons for your patience and support as we navigate this situation. We’ll get through this together!

Marina patrons can direct questions and their insurance agents to Mr. James McCurdy, of Lindsay Hart, who is representing the SM MUMBAI vessel operator at jmccurdy@lindsayhart.com.

For more information, the Port of Kalama contact is Eric Yakovich, who can be reached at 360-673-2337 and EYakovich@PortofKalama.com.

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Port of Kalama marina damaged early this morning

In the early hours this morning, an incident occurred at the Port of Kalama marina. The facility and docks as well as many of the boats moored there were damaged during the incident.

We are not exactly clear yet what happened, but the event is under investigation to determine the cause. The Port estimates in excess of $1 million in damage and is notifying boat owners of the impact. The Port is also working closely with authorities, insurance providers and other professionals to mitigate the impact of this event.

We will keep you all apprised as we learn more details. The Port recently invested in a $4.5 million upgrade and renovation at the marina. The impact, damage and loss to that facility is now under investigation, though vandalism has been ruled out.

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Port of Kalama closes offices, facilities, interpretive center to public in accordance with state mandates

As part of statewide effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus/COVID-19, the Port limits meetings, asks staff to work remotely while it maintains operations

In accordance with a recent statement by Washington state Governor Jay Inslee, the Port of Kalama has closed its administrative office, facilities, and Interpretive Center to the public. Port staff are maintaining operations through a combination of social distancing and remote work from home.

The Port will communicate updates as they become available.

CONTACT: Port of Kalama 8a-5p 360-673-2325 or email POK@PortofKalama.com.

From a press release from the office of Governor Inslee:

Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement tonight that further expands protections against COVID-19. 

“Given the explosion of COVID-19 in our state and globally, I will sign a statewide emergency proclamation tomorrow to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities.

“Restaurants will be allowed to provide take-out and delivery services but no in-person dining will be permitted.

“The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies. Other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy.

“Additionally, all gatherings with over 50 participants are prohibited and all gatherings under 50 participants are prohibited unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met.

“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease. I know there will be significant economic impacts to all our communities and we are looking at steps to help address those challenges.

“Tonight, after consultations with me and with the Department of Health, King County announced that they will be taking these actions immediately. King County has been the hotbed of this outbreak and has the largest population center in the state. I have spoken to Executive Dow Constantine and I applaud their decision to act quickly. We will do a joint media announcement with more details tomorrow morning.”

 

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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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