Pier Side: Interlocal agreement and draft strategic plan top Thursday’s meeting

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Pier Side e-newsletter

Feb. 17, 2021

In this issue:

Interlocal agreement and draft strategic plan top Thursday’s meeting

At its public meeting on Thursday, Feb. 18, the Port of Tacoma Commission will consider an interlocal agreement with the Metropolitan Park District of Tacoma to jointly fund the development of collaborative strategies to address the COVID-19 pandemic recovery.

Commissioners will consider the refunding of 2016 general obligation bonds. They will also consider a lease assignment with Portside 55 South LLC, and a lease amendment and a lease assignment with Portside 55 North LLC. Additionally, they will receive a briefing on the Port of Tacoma’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan draft. View the full agenda.

The public meeting begins at noon and will be streamed live on the Port of Tacoma’s website. You can also dial in at 253-617-4257 and use the conference ID 310 096 679#.

To deliver comments during the public testimony portion of the meeting, please send an email to comment@portoftacoma.com by 9 a.m. PT, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 that includes your name, the telephone number you will be calling from, and the agenda topic you wish to speak to. Please include “speaker” in the subject line. Written comments may be submitted to the same email address and will be provided to the commissioners.

Applications for 2021 Local Economic Development Investment Fund due Feb. 26

The Port is committed to supporting the economic vitality of our region, and we are currently seeking proposals for our annual Local Economic Development Investment Fund to bring economic development investments to Pierce County.

The Port of Tacoma Local Economic Development Investment Fund is a matching fund program with an annual budget of $250,000. This fund supports projects in Pierce County and is designed to assist non-profit organizations and municipal agencies in Pierce County with eligible economic development projects.

Learn more about the program and apply for the Local Economic Development Investment Fund.

Local Economic Development Investment Fund

Visit Rainier's Mount Rainier Accessible Tourism was one of the Local Economic Development Investment Fund recipients in 2019. (Photo courtesy of Ian Makay)

Port of Tacoma Commission elects 2021 officers

Commissioner Dick Marzano

Port of Tacoma commissioners have selected Dick Marzano as commission president for 2021.

The Port of Tacoma commission president also serves as co-chair of The Northwest Seaport Alliance.

Marzano, who was first elected to the commission in November 1995, succeeds John McCarthy as president. Read more.

2021 Port of Tacoma Commission

  • Dick Marzano, president
  • Don Meyer, vice president
  • Deanna Keller, secretary
  • Kristin Ang, first assistant secretary
  • John McCarthy, second assistant secretary

Join Commissioners Marzano and Keller for coffee and conversation on Feb. 24

Coffee With Commissioners

Join Port of Tacoma Commission President Dick Marzano and Commissioner Deanna Keller for a virtual Coffee with Commissioners, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 11 a.m. to noon.

Register today!

This is an opportunity for you to get to know your Port Commission outside of the formality of the regular commission meetings.

Port recognizes Black History Month

Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, Commission President Dick Marzano and Commissioners Deanna Keller and Kristin Ang joined staff at the Port Administration Building on Feb. 8 to raise a Black Lives Matter flag.

Additionally, we’ll be sharing the stories of local maritime industry leaders and quotes from Port employees on what it means to them.

We hope you’ll find inspiration in these stories and join us in celebrating Black History throughout the month.

Black History Month

Diary of the Port Biologist: Whale you be my Valentine?


Parents, you know this moment: You turn your back for one minute and the next thing you know, your calf wanders off in search of a tasty marine mammal morsel...

This little transient orca tyke took a wrong turn and started to enter the Blair Waterway.

The whale calf did not travel very far into the Blair (only as far as the first container crane in the waterway), before it promptly changed its mind, headed back out into Commencement Bay and reunited with its mom and the rest of its pod. Read more.


Completion of Wapato Creek Bridge to enhance fish passage upstream

Wapato Creek Bridge

We love a project that improves freight mobility and benefits our future tidal wetland for salmon and other wildlife!

Thanks to a grant from the Pierce County Flood Control Zone District, The Northwest Seaport Alliance completed the first phase of the Wapato Creek Bridge and Culvert Removal Project.

The bridge officially reopened for traffic on Feb. 1, allowing truck drivers to enter Pierce County Terminal’s queuing lot from Alexander Avenue.

Replacing a failing, undersized culvert with a bridge will further enhance our Lower Wapato Creek Habitat Project, located just upstream, by improving tidal flow, water quality, and fish passage.

It’ll also reduce the potential for upstream flooding during periods of high tide/flow, decreasing the risk of flood damage to critical upstream infrastructure when the fish-friendly habitat site is completed.

Port of Tacoma welcomes ‘MV Tannhauser’

Port of Tacoma Commissioner Deanna Keller presented a plaque to Capt. Stefan Sjöstrand of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean’s MV Tannhauser.

It’s been a while since we got to personally greet a crew on a maiden voyage!

Port of Tacoma Commissioner Deanna Keller presented a plaque to Capt. Stefan Sjöstrand of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean’s MV Tannhauser last month at East Blair One Terminal.

Designed with energy efficiency in mind, the roll-on/roll-off vessel was built in China and entered service late last year.

The vessel, fitted with 13 cargo decks for a capacity equivalent to 7,700 cars, began its voyage in Europe and stopped at the Port of Tacoma before crossing the Pacific Ocean to Japan.

We wish MV Tannhauser fair winds and following seas!

Scooping rice to fight hunger

A team of Port employees and family members volunteered on Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Emergency Food Network in Lakewood for our second repack event of the year.

In just 2.5 hours, the group repacked 90 50-pound bags of rice for a total of 4,500 pounds! With nine more repack events planned this year, we hope to beat our 2020 total of repacking 63,000 pounds of food.

EFN distributes more than 14 million pounds of food to families in Pierce County annually. Visit EFN's website to find out how you can help.

Emergency Food Network