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We’re progressing! Site preparation now underway at Port of Kalama’s Spencer Creek Business Park

Site preparation and preloading commences work this month at Spencer Creek Business Park at the Port of Kalama. The Port recently awarded the $1.2 million contract to Tapani, Inc. for Phase 2 site preloading and ground improvement at site which is now underway.

Residents and visitors will see the piles of sand being moved onto the site at Area 3 for the ‘preload’ phase of the ground improvement process. After Area 3 settles the preload material will move on to Area 4. The area is well-marked with signs to help explain the process.

The Phase 2 project at Spencer Creek Business Park will complete site preloading and occur in several phases with a land settlement period between each phase. (A project map is included below.) The project includes:

  • Removing all sand above 26.5′ elevation from Areas 1 and 2
  • Moving it in phases to Areas 3 through 6
  • Permitted clearing of some trees and vegetation, fences and structures
  • Compacting sand to 26.5′ elevation.


Upon completion of Phase 2, the entire 70-acre footprint will be prepared for development. General business activity at the Port will not be interrupted during this time.

Watch this video to find out more about what Spencer Creek Business Park will bring to our community.

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Help the Port support our local community – share your voice

As part of our mission and in support of the Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility, the Port is responsible for building two assets inside the shoreline jurisdiction—the proposed wharf for ship moorage and export, and a new well for industrial process water. We’ve done our due diligence to ensure an environmentally—and economically—responsible community asset in the new facility.

The Port’s wharf and well will not only provide benefit to the entire community, but will serve facilities that brings jobs and opportunity to our community— all while generating millions of dollars in taxes for our schools, roads and infrastructure. It is simply a win-win:

  • 688 total jobs during operations, including 192 direct jobs and 496 indirect and induced jobs
  • $21 million in annual payroll for direct jobs
  • Estimated $30 to $40 million in annual tax payments to state and local authorities


Speak Up

Washington State Department of Ecology can approve or deny the Shoreline Substantial Development and Conditional Use permits issued by Cowlitz County. Make your voice heard to support our community.

Click on this link to speak up for our community:

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Port of Kalama commission finalizes lease agreement with McMenamins, moves forward with construction

The iconic family owned business known for operating distinct properties in the Pacific Northwest will develop a portion of the Port of Kalama riverfront with a hotel, restaurant, pub and brewery

The Port of Kalama Commission this week approved the final lease agreement with McMenamins to build a new hotel and brewpub on Port property.  Construction of the facility is expected to commence on the site within the next 60 days.

The new McMenamins destination will include a 40-room hotel, meeting rooms, gift shop, restaurant, brewery, and rooftop brewpub with river view as well as a smaller 500- square-foot pub a short walk away at the Port of Kalama’s Ahles Point.

“Not only can Kalama look forward to this terrific dining and recreational option here, but this is truly an incredible investment and community asset that will bring significant economic benefits to the city of Kalama by way of sales taxes and jobs,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “We expect this development to draw even more visitors and potential business interests to the area.”

With a long history of reimagining interesting spaces, McMenamins will incorporate Kalama’s Hawaiian heritage into the design of the buildings, which will be modeled after the historic Pioneer Inn in Lahaina, Maui. Architectural plans were completed by Collins Architectural Services and are ready for the Port’s construction of the building and landscaping. McMenamins will design and construct all interior components of the facilities working with Pacific Crest Construction for the build-out.

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New river conservation program plans intensive clean-up of Kalama River at Port of Kalama’s Haydu Park this Saturday, March 4

It was the perfect summer day for fishing on the Kalama River when local fisherman Jarrod Kirkley, 33, reeled in a stunning steelhead. What he found next totally ruined the moment: sticking out of the fish was a used hypodermic needle. Sickened by the find Kirkley got to thinking about what he could do to clean up and conserve his beautiful playground: a new river conservation program was born. Welcome RiverJunky Washington, a river-certified waterway conservation 501 (c) (3).

Kirkley expects around 200 volunteers at the Kalama River conservation efforts which will convene at the Port of Kalama’s Haydu Park at 10 a.m. this Saturday, March 4. Teams of 7 to 10 volunteers will be dispersed to areas along the Kalama River for clean-up. The organization supplies all trucks, trailers, garbage bags, gloves and hand sanitation. The Port of Kalama will provide industrial dumpsters to haul off the final collection of debris and trash.

Interested volunteers are encouraged to call 1-866-RVR-JNKY to participate or just show up on Saturday.  RiverJunky rewards all volunteers with free gifts, raffle prizes and a hosted meal for all after.

“I’ve literally been fishing since I was two years old and I got so tired of angling in what was becoming a wasteland—I knew I had to do something to help clean up the situation,” says Kirkley, a third generation construction professional with his family’s Beavercreek Construction Company in Castle Rock, Washington. “My goal is to raise the awareness of others who care about our rivers and continue to build a volunteer base to carry on these important conservation efforts.”

Kirkley, who lives in Silverlake, calls his nonprofit ‘the world’s first river way garbage clean-up service’ and is determined to reduce the impact of trash and debris on the river ecosystem.  Since September Kirkley has organized thousands of volunteers and attracted 25,000 followers to his website and social channels. His local efforts have cleaned up several Pacific Northwest waterways including the Cowlitz River and Puyallup River; and his conservation model has been replicated now in states as far away as New York.

“Our motto is ‘if one person is cleaning up trash it makes our world one times better; but if 100 people are cleaning up trash it makes our world 100 times better!” says Kirkley. “We really appreciate all of our volunteers who join in these important endeavors.”

RiverJunky is a nonprofit organization funded from public donations and sponsorships like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Starbucks, Lamiglas and many others. All product proceeds go directly to river conservation.

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Port of Kalama, Kalama School District team up to engage students on career opportunities in Kalama and beyond

Port and School district plan Career Fair to educate students about port industries and career outlook

Did you know that industries at the Port of Kalama employ more than 1000 people? And there are Fortune 500 companies right here conducting global business and commerce including import/export, manufacturing, marketing, welding and steel work, recycling, trucking and any myriad other commercial and industrial enterprises. They choose Kalama for its ideal location in the heart of the Pacific Northwest on the highway, railroad and river.

The Port of Kalama and the Kalama School District are working together to let Kalama students know more about opportunities after high school. And they are plentiful—right here at home.

The Kalama School District Career Fair takes place on Thursday, February 16 at Kalama High School with sessions for students from noon to 3:00 p.m. and again in the evening for parents to join them for a showcase of the wide range of job opportunities available, the skill sets required, and the pathway to obtaining those jobs. The event, which will be organized like a trade show with booths and spokespeople, is intended to be a career fair rather than a job fair and there is no expectation of hiring as part of the event.

Where: Kalama High School Gym

When: February 16, 12:00—3:00 and 5:00—6:30

“The Port of Kalama is working to develop a closer relationship between the students and faculty of the Kalama Schools and the Port’s business partners on the waterfront the fair offers an opportunity to meet members of the business community and learn about the work we do, as well as career opportunities for students,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “We hope to improve the understanding of the business activities here and let students know about the many career opportunities that can be found right here in the community.”

Kalama students will go through the career fair in groups: 6th, 7th and 8th grade first; 9th and 10th second; and 11th and 12th last. Each group will have about an hour to visit with the businesses. Each group will have received an hour long presentation about the business community at the Port prior to going to the career fair to help guide them to career opportunities they want to learn more about. The partnership’s goal is to make middle and high school students aware of the career opportunities in their community and how to build a path toward those careers.

For more information or to RSVP to participate, call Jackie Heupel at the Port of Kalama at 360-673-2325 or , Mark Wilson, Executive Director, Port of Kalama at 360-673-2325, or Eric Nerison, Superintendent, Kalama Schools at 360-673-5228,

Port of Kalama Building

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Port of Kalama marina project will bring enhanced recreational access and environmental benefits to the region

The first step toward a significant marina renovation is complete with the City of Kalama’s approval of the Port’s shoreline substantial development permit application. The shoreline permit is required for development or activity performed within 200 feet of the Columbia River shoreline.

The decision will now be submitted to the Washington State Department of Ecology. The Port will continue to work with State and Federal regulatory agencies on the remainder of the permits needed for this project. The project is in the final design and planning stage and will go out to bid later this year, 2017.

“The Port of Kalama marina renovation project will perform maintenance and upgrades while enhancing safety and environmental protection, American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility, facility aesthetics and overall attractiveness of the entire marina,” says Darin Sampson, Port of Kalama project manager.

Among many, some improvements include:

  • Construction of ADA-compliant aluminum-grated gangway for ADA access to the visitor dock and entrance to marina.
  • Replacement of concrete floats with aluminum-grated floats
  • Removal of nine creosote timber piles and salvage of ten steel piles
  • Provide and/or upgrade potable water service, fire suppression systems and electrical service to all floats


“This marina renovation project will go a long way to ensuring excellent access to the facility as well as the environmental upgrades and safeguards that will protect natural resources like our shoreline and river,” says Tabitha Reeder, Environmental Manager.

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Marina closed to water traffic for dredging tomorrow morning 1/14, 7a to noon

While the marina maintenance project is nearing completion, our crews will be removing pipes from the marina tomorrow morning Saturday, January 14 from 7:00 am to noon. We are sorry for any inconvenience but will be open again tomorrow as soon as piping is removed. Thank you so much for your patience with us! We’re almost done.

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Port of Kalama Offices Closed Today, Commission Meeting Cancelled Tonight Due to Snow!

Winter weather is at it again! The Port of Kalama administrative offices will be closed today due to snow. And the Port of Kalama Commission Meeting scheduled for tonight, January 11, 2017 at 5:30p is CANCELLED. We will post an updated schedule when the weather clears. Thank you, and stay warm!

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Port of Kalama’s East Port Initiative brings advanced recreational and economic growth to the region; new video highlights regional opportunity

The Port of Kalama’s East Port initiative is the latest investment in our community’s future. The vision for East Port includes the Spencer Creek Business Park as well as the adjacent recreational areas. Working closely with the City of Kalama, Cowlitz County and other regional partners, the Port has already made considerable progress toward its goal of strengthening Kalama’s cultural, recreational and employment opportunities.

Haydu Park, the first of two major East Port contributions, is now open for community enjoyment with soccer fields, baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, shoreline access and many other recreational amenities. The gorgeous recreational facility is spread over 45 acres in an idyllic setting adjacent to the Kalama River.

The Port’s $4.5 million investment into the development of this regional destination, at no expense to local tax payers, is a prime example of a strong commitment to Kalama’s quality of life.

Haydu Park also serves as the new home for the Kalama Fair and other popular community events including the Amalak Plant Sale and Fair Board Flea Market— and in time, many others. Activities at Haydu Park continue to attract visitors to Kalama resulting in increased local spending, lodging taxes and other revenues.  Above all, this state-of-the-art enhancement for local sports teams and event organizers is a place they can be proud to call home.

Port of Kalama creates economic engine for the region

Work on the second major East Port component, Spencer Creek Business Park, is now underway.  While full development of Spencer Creek will occur gradually over twenty years, the mixed-use economic engine and employment hub—including a variety of commercial and industrial uses—is anticipated to support more than 1,000 new jobs, $40 million in annual payroll wages, $270 million in business revenues and $4.5 million in annual tax revenue.

Current development at the business park includes grading, infrastructure extension, road improvements and landscaping. Next, the Port will replant new trees and vegetation according to a plan developed in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

As the Port of Kalama brings the East Port vision to life, we continue to work closely with the broader community, stakeholder groups, businesses and residents.  As one early outcome of this personal engagement, the Port has purchased several properties located between Kalama River Road and the Kalama River after being approached by property owners there. In each case, the Port has leased back these single-family residences to the original owners while focusing on completing construction at Haydu Park and work on the Spencer Creek Business Park.  While there are no immediate plans for these properties, the intention is to preserve future options including possible improvements and/or habitat enhancement.

Like you, we at the Port of Kalama are residents of this treasured community. We are stewards of the land. And we want what’s best for this place we call home.

As always, the Port will strive to meet or exceed all applicable environmental regulations, community goals and public involvement guidelines as we bring the vision to life. To learn more about East Port and its benefits to the region, please visit

Let’s celebrate our successes together and give thanks for all we share as residents of Kalama!

For more on East Port plans, watch this! Spencer Creek Business Park video

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Port of Kalama hosts Workforce Southwest Washington conference to help ensure area youth are educated and prepared for workforce

Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW), formerly the Southwest Washington Workforce, is a nonprofit organization seeking ideas for programs that would train and help funnel out-of-school youths, aged 16 to 24, into skilled jobs in Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties.

The organization, which focuses on regional economic growth, aims to identify and fund organizations that will design innovative programming and comprehensive services that ensure Southwest Washington youth are prepared for post-secondary success and to serve as a skilled and qualified pipeline to fill local workforce demands.

To do so the WSW will hold a conference for prospective bidders on Dec. 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Port of Kalama, 110 W. Marine Drive, Kalama. Both organizations share common workforce, jobs and economic development missions.

WSW oversees the workforce system for Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties and has invested nearly $70 million to get people working in Southwest Washington. The Port of Kalama exists to induce capital investments in an environmentally responsible manner to create jobs and enhance public recreational opportunities. More than 30 companies, employing more than 1,000 people, call the Port of Kalama home, including a variety of new and emerging businesses.

The WSW RFP seeks service providers that demonstrate a commitment and history of serving one or more of the following populations: homeless or runaway, foster child, pregnant or parenting, offender, individuals with disabilities (including learning disabilities), veteran or veteran spouse, communities of color or English language learners. WSW is also looking for innovation, collaboration, and passion.

Proposals are due by 5 p.m. Pacific Time on January 20, 2017. The Request for Proposal (RFP) and be found at this link: WIOA Out-of-School Youth RFP 2017-2020 Final

For more information on WSW, visit



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