Port and Duwamish River Community Coalition Announce Grand Opening of Duwamish River People’s Park | Port recognizes outstanding environmental achievement with Sustainable Century Awards

On Earth Day 2022, the Port of Seattle celebrates industry and community partners who help drive change.

In partnership with the Duwamish River Community Coalition, the Port announced that the Duwamish River People’s Park, one of the largest habitat restoration projects on the Duwamish River in a generation, will open to the public on July 16.

“More than just a park and habitat area, People’s Duwamish River Park is a living testament to the power of community leadership and the value of public partnership,” said Commissioner Toshiko Hasegawa. “Beginning this summer, the popular Duwamish River Park becomes a new learning laboratory, an essential part of restored habitat, and a much-needed green space for the community.”

“I can’t tell you how full my heart is to see this park become a reality,” said Paulina Lopez, executive director of the Duwamish River Community Coalition. “This is a big step forward in bringing health and equity to a community that is experiencing poorer air quality, more freight, and less green space than so many neighborhoods in Seattle. People’s Park provides a space for children in the Duwamish Valley to learn, actively help protect, engage and enjoy a healthy habitat of our most precious natural feature, our Duwamish River.

The Port has also recognized industry partners The best of fishermen, Bellair Charters / Airport Shuttle, South West Airlinesand Delta Airlines with 2022 Sustainable Century Awards. The winners showcased programs that deliver measurable benefits to the environment, including reducing carbon emissions at port-operated facilities and in the region. The port also recognized SSA Marine/Carrix for its focus on fair recovery during COVID and Whooshh Innovations for a project aimed at salmon recovery.

“Hundreds of private employers depend on port facilities for their own operations,” said Commissioner Hasegawa, “and we depend on their partnership to invest in equipment that decarbonizes industries and improves habitat. These awards recognize partners who make measurable progress towards a carbon-free port. »

People’s Duwamish River Park

Duwamish River People’s Park is located on the ancestral site of the water-related Aboriginal place, ł(ə)gʷalb, referring to an abandoned or ancient river channel. The southern part of the park is on an ancient riverbank named after xʷapičəd (wha-PEE-chud). At high tide, the Coast Salish would toss wood chips into the river to see if the current would allow them to use the shallow area as a shortcut, hence the Coast Salish name, “Toss It Over Something “.

In 2007, the Duwamish Valley community advocated for the harbor to pursue a higher cleaning standard that would turn the site into a public-use park and habitat reserve. Led by the EPA, the port completed the cleanup of coastal uplands and in-water sediment in 2015, and the City of Seattle cleaned up toxic contamination in the surrounding neighborhood in 2016.

In 2020, the port broke ground on the construction of the popular Duwamish River Park, which will provide 14 acres of critical fish and wildlife habitat and public shoreline access. This large-scale restoration project supports the recovery of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale population by significantly increasing critical habitat for Chinook salmon. New park features include staging and seating areas, public art, 5.5 acres of restored marsh and native riparian shorelines, habitat viewing platform and boat launch with manual water.

Watch this time-lapse video of the Duwamish River tide filling in the restored marsh and native riparian shoreline.

Sustainable Century Award

The Port recognizes the outstanding environmental achievements of its customers, tenants, non-profit organizations and partners with the Sustainable Century Awards, formerly known as the Environmental Excellence Awards. The winners demonstrate environmental leadership and are essential partners in helping the Port achieve its goals of environmental stewardship, sustainability and equity.

  • The 2022 Maritime Prize is awarded to Fishermen’s Finest. In 2021, Fishermen’s Finest (FFI) became the first commercial fishing fleet to join Green Marine and achieve certification under the Green Marine Environmental Certification Program for the Marine Industry. FFI’s goal is to become a net zero carbon fleet, by building a new fishing vessel, best of america (262 feet), which reduces fuel consumption by 66%. FFI also invested in King County’s first urban forest carbon credit sale and represents the lowest carbon footprint of the Bering Sea trawler fleet.

“Global warming is a reality for our captains and ship’s crews who have been fishing for over 30 years, witnessing firsthand the recent warming of the ocean, the receding ice of the Bering Sea, and the corresponding changes in the behavior of Pisces”, says Helena Park, CEO of Fishermen’s Finest. “We are stewards of the resource, so it is incumbent upon all of us in commercial fishing to reduce the carbon footprint of commercial fishing as much as possible. It helps us make progress in getting local leaders like the Port of Seattle to support the transformation of the Fishermen’s Finest fleet into a fish producer with the smallest carbon footprint possible.

  • The Aviation Prize 2022 is awarded to Bellair Charters / Airporter Shuttle. Notable achievements include an innovative long-term partnership supporting SEA’s Raptor Strike Avoidance Program which helps protect local wildlife, increase SEA’s operational safety by reducing the risk of bird strikes, avoided 70 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 10 years and generated labor and cost savings. for the Port. Since 2011, Bellair has voluntarily transported nearly 800 birds of prey (i.e. raptors) captured at SEA as part of the Raptor Strike Avoidance Program using their own fleet of vehicles on the return routes to Burlington, Washington. Sixteen raptor species, including red-tailed hawks, were transported from SEA to farmland habitat near the community of Bow to be tagged and released into the wild. Over 90% of the birds moved stay and never return to the airport.

“Safety is paramount to our business” said Richard Johnson, President of Bellair Airporter Shuttle. “Our employees are proud to partner with the airport to reduce the risk of bird strikes, help birds move to safer habitat and avoid carbon emissions. This program allows us to play an even greater role in our community We value partnership and recognition.

  • 2022 Aviation Prize goes to Southwest for greater use of ground power systems by airlines to reduce emissions when docking at SEA airport gates. Southwest has demonstrated high utilization of emission-reducing ground power systems (80-90% of all operations connect to the systems) and longest connectivity to ground power systems at the gate (more than 80% time between arrival at the door and turning back).

“At Southwest, we have set ourselves the goal of reducing, replacing, offsetting and partnering as part of our holistic strategy to improve our environmental sustainability,” said Stacy Malphurs, vice president of supply chain management and environmental sustainability at Southwest Airlines. “We are thrilled to be recognized by the Port of Seattle with the 2022 Aviation Award and are proud to partner with them to help them achieve their sustainability goals.”

  • 2022 Aviation Prize goes to Delta Air Lines to operate at SEA the highest percentage of use of modern, fuel-efficient aircraft that reduce emissions. Of the aircraft Delta operated at SEA in 2021, 16% were highly fuel-efficient, such as the Airbus A220, A330neos and A350, compared to other high-efficiency carriers which reached nearly 7%.

“Delta Air Lines’ increasingly fuel-efficient fleet is a critical part of our Flight to Net Zero™,” said Mahendra Nair, SVP of Delta – Fleet and TechOps Supply Chain. “We appreciate this recognition and will continue to innovate towards a more sustainable future in aviation, in Seattle and in our more than 275 destinations around the world.”

  • The 2022 Equitable Recovery Award goes to SSA Marine/Carrix. In addition to being proactive and working with government and health care to keep business and cruise operations running during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have supported an equitable recovery for the entire community by providing space, equipment and volunteers at Food Lifeline to increase capacity and meet increased community needs, along with volunteer staff from Carrix, led a two-week vaccination clinic in Seattle.
  • Honorable Mention for Environmental Innovation goes to Whooshh Innovations. This company has invented a promising technology for salmon runs where fish passage is impeded, helping to sustain a critical food source for the Southern Resident Killer Whale. Following a landslide on the Fraser River in British Columbia that threatened to block the passage of all salmon runs through Canada’s largest salmon watershed, Whooshh deployed its “Passage Portal” ™ in record time before returning adult salmon arrive so they can migrate and around the blockage. The passage portal has removed the need for human handling, trapping and helicopter transport of tens of thousands of salmon over the summer and fall of 2020, which otherwise would not have been feasible or affordable. A significant improvement for fish passage, the gate incorporates electronic tracking. During the first season of use, over 125,000 salmon were counted above the Big Bar rockslide.

“This major project on the Fraser River, one of the most productive salmon rivers in the world, delighted the whole team. We were able to deploy our modular and flexible Whooshh Passage Portal™ in one of the most challenging environments imaginable,”said Vincent Bryan III, CEO of Whooshh Innovations. “We are honored to have our work recognized by the Port of Seattle, where our office and shop have been located in Terminal 91 for nearly a decade.”


Peter McGraw | Port of Seattle Media Manager
(206) 787-3446 | [email protected]