In 2016, the Port of Seattle was selected, in partnership with the local community health non-profit, Just Health Action, to pilot the US EPA Ports Initiative’s “Near-port Community Capacity Building/Stakeholder Engagement Project.”
The Duwamish Valley Environmental Justice Project aims to:
- improve environmental health outcomes for communities affected by ports and associated goods movement facilities, and,
- improve environmental performance at ports.
The specific tools piloted in this project are:
- Environmental Justice Primer for Ports - The Environmental Justice Primer for Ports helps port decision-makers better understand the needs of near-port communities and how they can help address these needs and build productive community relationships during planning activities and operations.
- Community Action Roadmap - The Community Action Roadmap: Empowering Near-port Communities provides a step-by-step guide to help near-port communities effectively engage in port decisions that may impact local land use, environmental health and quality of life.
- Ports Primer for Communities - This Primer helps community members participate effectively in the decision-making process by increasing local understanding of: the role of ports; how ports can impact local land use, economic trends and the environment; and tools and resources that have been successful in other communities.
- Development of a Port Community Action Team, a collection of community leaders representing Georgetown and South Park who advise and inform the outcomes and strategies of the pilot project.
- Commission authorization and funding to extend program beyond "pilot" phase and explore
"Community Benefit Agreement" opportunities.
- Capacity-building workshops for Port staff and community members on equitable development, community benefits agreements, environmental justice, and collaborative problem solving.
- Six youth from Duwamish Valley Youth Corps are hired for Port's High School Summer Internship Program
- Port hosts its first-ever Multilingual "Port U" Educational Boat Tour along the Duwamish River and Elliott Bay
- Northwest Seaport Alliance funds citizen/community science research to identify air quality solutions in Georgetown and South Park