Presentation Abstract

As Seattle’s economy continues to evolve, its significance as a port city is undiminished. The container ports of Seattle and Tacoma recently entered into a joint management agreement and, together, they are the fourth largest container gateway in North America. At the same time, competition is fierce between the remaining rival ports and capital spending on the land-side cargo terminals is a key variable in this competition. This makes it critical that the Port understands what role climate change adaptation will play in the broader challenge of setting the level of public fund expenditures on terminal upgrade projects. The types of climate change impacts that the Port tracks include sea level rise, increased frequency and intensity of storms and shifts in trade and trade routes. Layered into an analysis of the impacts is the varied types of land uses and functions found on Port-operated waterfront properties. The uses include some without a functional need for a waterfront location. To date much of the planning for boosting the resiliency of Port properties has focused on the stormwater systems for the large cargo terminals. While their deck elevations already reflect significant factors of safety for tide and storm surge, the scenarios of concern involve significant precipitation events that coincide with peaks in tide and storm surge. Such scenarios could challenge the ability of the stormwater systems to convey water off the decks at a sufficient rate. The Port recently took the initiative of forming a Marine Stormwater Utility. Among other benefits, this will allow the Port to improve its records on the condition of the system assets, which in turn will help set priorities for system investments that will improve resiliency.

Session Title

Snapshot Presentations

Keywords

Climate change, Adaptation planning, Port of Seattle

Conference Track

SSE17: Snapshots

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE17-597

Start Date

5-4-2018 10:40 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 10:45 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 10:40 AM Apr 5th, 10:45 AM

Climate change adaptation planning for Port of Seattle waterfront properties

As Seattle’s economy continues to evolve, its significance as a port city is undiminished. The container ports of Seattle and Tacoma recently entered into a joint management agreement and, together, they are the fourth largest container gateway in North America. At the same time, competition is fierce between the remaining rival ports and capital spending on the land-side cargo terminals is a key variable in this competition. This makes it critical that the Port understands what role climate change adaptation will play in the broader challenge of setting the level of public fund expenditures on terminal upgrade projects. The types of climate change impacts that the Port tracks include sea level rise, increased frequency and intensity of storms and shifts in trade and trade routes. Layered into an analysis of the impacts is the varied types of land uses and functions found on Port-operated waterfront properties. The uses include some without a functional need for a waterfront location. To date much of the planning for boosting the resiliency of Port properties has focused on the stormwater systems for the large cargo terminals. While their deck elevations already reflect significant factors of safety for tide and storm surge, the scenarios of concern involve significant precipitation events that coincide with peaks in tide and storm surge. Such scenarios could challenge the ability of the stormwater systems to convey water off the decks at a sufficient rate. The Port recently took the initiative of forming a Marine Stormwater Utility. Among other benefits, this will allow the Port to improve its records on the condition of the system assets, which in turn will help set priorities for system investments that will improve resiliency.