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Guest commentary / Port of Everett


Balancing a range of public priorities

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By John M. Mohr
Published:
The Port of Everett's mission for economic development requires delicate balance. We know that we must balance our redevelopment efforts with job creation, environmental stewardship and the community's desire for first-class recreational amenities.
The Port of Everett's operations support more than 31,000 jobs in our community, through three business lines: international trade, marina and boating facilities, and property redevelopment. We are proud to be a source of stable community employment, and of the continued stewardship of the property in our care. We are making tremendous strides in sustained environmental restoration and protection, while ensuring public access to the waterfront. In fact, of the 3,000 acres owned by the port, more than half are dedicated to public access.
In 2007, the Port Commission adopted a strategic plan that specifies environmental and recreational investments as key strategic priorities. And, the port is currently engaged in updating our Waterfront Master Plan with an emphasis on balancing jobs, stewardship and community amenities. The port firmly believes that job creation, environmental stewardship and public access are not mutually exclusive goals, but are collectively essential to create a vibrant and sustainable community.
As we tirelessly examine redevelopment plans and listen to public feedback, we grow increasingly confident that we're headed in the right direction. Everywhere we look, we see examples of success, and evidence of further opportunity. Over the next six months, we'll continue to reach out to the public for comment on how we can continue balancing priorities and earning the public's trust in our efforts.
•With new possibilities under consideration, the port is prioritizing the creation of a Craftsman District to serve the needs of boaters.
•The Port of Everett's marina, the largest public marina on the West Coast, includes the state's most modern, environmentally friendly boatyard, which prevents debris created by boat repair and refurbishment from getting untreated into stormwater. The port recently earned Clean Marina Washington's highest certification -- the Clean Marina Leadership Award. In addition to preventing environmental damage, the Port of Everett is committed to remediating damage caused by inherited industrial activities. We are currently engaged in seven environmental cleanup projects at waterfront properties.
•The port owns Jetty Island, and has developed miles of walking trails and made the area safer for public access. Pigeon Creek Trail is the port's longest established trail on the working waterfront. The four-mile waterfront loop at Port Gardner Wharf connects to Pigeon Creek Trail. A nature walk on the vibrant wetlands of Union Slough is just a little farther north. And, the West Marine View Drive Non-motorized Improvements project provides a safer, improved pedestrian/bicycle corridor along West Marine View Drive between 16th Street and the Alverson Bridge.
The Port of Everett continues to engage the public on these and other projects, and we encourage you to visit our website, www.portofeverett.com. Please use the online form to send us your thoughts, or call us at 425-259-3164.
John M. Mohr is the Port of Everett's executive director.

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