In this 2018 photo, tugboats help the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy icebreaker into her homeport of Seattle, as a Washington state ferry passes in the background. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warre, File)

In this 2018 photo, tugboats help the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy icebreaker into her homeport of Seattle, as a Washington state ferry passes in the background. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warre, File)

Coast Guard looks to expand Seattle base

Port officials are wary the move would end an ongoing effort to expand bulk cargo operations there.

Associated Press

SEATTLE — The U.S. Coast Guard is proposing a renovation and expansion of its Seattle waterfront base that during the next decade will be home to three new icebreakers, and probably other vessels.

The Coast Guard’s aging Seattle operations hub supports Pacific Northwest and polar missions. The Seattle Times reports the Coast Guard will have a higher profile role in the coming years as the U.S. ramps up its presence in an Arctic region rapidly changing as the climate warms.

One option for the base’s makeover would result in more than tripling the Coast Guard’s acreage along the waterfront, according to a document published last week in the Federal Register. One of three under consideration, it involves the “acquisition” of up to 54.1 acres, mainly at Terminal 46, which is adjacent to the Coast Guard’s current waterfront base.

Port officials say they want to support the Coast Guard efforts to improve and grow the Seattle base, but are wary that a federal takeover of most of Terminal 46 would end an ongoing effort to expand bulk cargo operations there.

“I want to know if we can provide this national service without impacting to an unreasonable degree our well-established uses of the waterfront,” said Fred Felleman, a Port of Seattle commissioner.

Lt. Russ Tippets, a Coast Guard spokesperson, said that “we understand the concerns associated with such a major endeavor. We are committed to working with stakeholders, and the public through the environmental planning process to hear and address those concerns.”

He said that the Coast Guard is looking for the most cost-effective options for accommodating a modernized icebreaker fleet, and have not made any decisions on whether that would be a purchase of port land, or some sort of long-term lease.

The planning process for the base improvements kicked off last week with a notice in the Federal Register, starting a 45-day public comment period on what issues should be considered in development of an environmental-impact statement. By fall of next year, that statement is expected to be

Talk to us

More in Northwest

Cars make their way across US 2 between Lake Stevens and Everett as wildfire smoke makes downtown Everett barely visible on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Wildfire smoke: A burning health issue is getting worse

As the hazardous haze increases during fire seasons, it’s time to get serious and prepare, experts say.

FILE - In this June 19, 2020, file photo, people taking part in a Juneteenth march travel down 23rd Ave. in Seattle. President Joe Biden this week signed legislation establishing a new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery – a move lawmakers made for Washington state earlier this year. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee last month signed a measure making Juneteenth a legal state paid holiday, starting in 2022. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Juneteenth becomes official state paid holiday in 2022

It also became a federal holiday when President Biden signed it into law this week.

WSU medical school receives full accreditation

The distinction determines whether a medical school’s program meets established standards.

With credit scores out, will insurers cut or hike your rate?

Lack of affordable housing squeezed buyers and drove up home prices across Snohomish County.

Mistrial halts case on minimum wage for immigrant detainees

Meanwhile, Washington is trying to close the Tacoma detention center entirely.

Stunt rider dies attempting world record jump in Moses Lake

Alex Harvill crashed while trying to jump the length of a football field during an air show.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee glances at an aide holding up an image of a visual slide being shown to viewers of a news conference, Thursday, June 3, 2021, in Olympia, Wash. Inslee announced that Washington will be the latest state to offer prizes to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Incentives will include a series of giveaways during the month of June including lottery prizes totaling $2 million, college tuition assistance, airline tickets, and game systems. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Judge dismisses Washington state governor recall petition

A group had alleged that Inslee’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic interfered with their rights.

FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2020, file photo, police use chemical irritants and crowd control munitions to disperse protesters during a demonstration in Portland, Ore. City officials insist Portland is resilient as they launch a revitalization plan — in the form of citywide cleanups of protest damage, aggressive encampment removals, increased homeless services and police reform — to repair its reputation. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Officers resign en masse from Portland protest response unit

The move to disband came a day after a team member was indicted in an assault case from last summer.

FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2020, file photo, Staff Sgt. Travis Snyder, left, receives the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine given at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, south of Seattle. Nurse Jose Picart, right, administered the shot. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday, June 17, 2021, announced a new COVID-19 vaccine incentive lottery for the state's military, family members and veterans because the federal government wasn't sharing individual vaccine status of those groups with the state and there were concerns they would be left out of a previously announced lottery. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
New vaccine lottery announced for military in Washington

Gov. Inslee said there were concerns they would be left out of a previously announced lottery.

Frank, a homeless man sits in his tent with a river view in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, June 5, 2021. Until a year ago, the city was best known nationally for its ambrosial food scene, craft breweries and “Portlandia” hipsters. Now, months-long protests following the killing of George Floyd, a surge in deadly gun violence, and an increasingly visible homeless population have many questioning whether Oregon’s largest city can recover. (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
Portland, scarred by unrest and violence, tries to come back

To outsiders, the Rose City’s reputation has gone from quirky “Portlandia” to violent dystopia.

The Everett Post Office is shown with a "now hiring" sign in 2019. (Sue MIsao / Herald file)
Washington unemployment rate dipped to 5.3% in May

Private sector employment increased by 7,000 jobs and government employment increased by 1,300 jobs.

A resident reported finding a dead Asian giant hornet near Marysville on June 4. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Dead ‘murder hornet’ found in Marysville, a first for county

It could be from a previous season, scientists say, because males don’t typically emerge this early.