AAPA Seaports Advisory

Environmental Sustainability: Cleveland, Port Everglades

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Cleveland: Port Authority Partners in Lakefront Restoration Project

A partnership supported by the Port of Cleveland launched a coastal restoration project July 11 at the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve.  

A crew from The Nature Conservancy began with hand tools and herbicide, aiming to eradicate patches of aggressive, non-native plants that crowd out native vegetation and make the shoreline habitat represented at the preserve less hospitable to many birds and other animals.

"Tens of thousands of Clevelanders and visitors come to the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve each year, and one of the greatest attractions is the 280 species of birds that have been spotted there," said Linda Sternheimer, director of urban planning and engagement for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority, which opened the 88-acre preserve in 2012.

The Nature Preserve originally was created as a confined disposal facility (CDF) to hold sediment dredged from the Cuyahoga riverbed to keep the shipping channel open. When sediment placement ended in 1999, the soil settled and flora and fauna gradually claimed the site. Today it is habitat for coyotes, minks, foxes, and deer. Audubon Ohio has designated it an Important Bird Area.

"This project will help restore the native vegetation most preferred by the nesting and migratory birds that our visitors love to see, not to mention the many mammals, reptiles, and butterflies that find sanctuary in the preserve," Ms. Sternheimer said.

The preserve is one of several lakeshore properties, from Cleveland to Ashtabula, where The Nature Conservancy will be working to restore natural beach and dune habitats. The effort involves multiple partners and uses funds from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a region-wide program created by Congress to address problems confronting communities in the Great Lakes basin.

The $650,000 grant will help many of the most important coastal sites in northeast Ohio including Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, Mentor Marsh, Headlands Dunes, Lake Erie Bluffs, Arcola Creek, and Walnut Beach.

Created by dredged material from Cleveland Harbor, the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve is a popular recreation area and habit for wild mammals, reptiles, butterflies and 280 species of birds.
Photos/Port of Cleveland

Port Everglades Partners with EPA to Study Air Emissions

Port Everglades has signed a partnership agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study air emissions.

"Port Everglades is not only proud to take our commitment to environmental stewardship to another level, but to do so by being the first U.S. seaport to partner with the EPA on this project," said Port Director Steven Cernak, PPM®. "While Port Everglades already meets environmental standards for air quality, we want to have a benchmark to measure any changes."

The EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality will work with Port Everglades to coordinate research and modeling encompassing all port-related operations, technologies and anticipated growth scenarios. The EPA also intends to develop separate emissions estimates for areas outside the Port's jurisdictional boundaries, such as highways and railroads used by Port Everglades customers.

"This agreement is an important step forward in developing emission reduction scenarios and inventories for port communities," said Christopher Grundler, director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality. "With this collaborative initiative, together EPA and Port Everglades can support sustainable development and cleaner air."

As part of the agreement, the port is providing a baseline emissions inventory for EPA's analysis. Port Everglades contracted with a consulting group to collect the data needed to generate a 2015 emission inventory for the port. 

The EPA will use the findings of the emissions inventory to help Port Everglades set goals to reduce emissions.
Future emission inventories will evaluate the effectiveness of new technology and operational strategies used to reduce emissions at the port and surrounding areas. The partnership will allow the EPA to develop methods, provide lessons learned, and provide practical examples that can be shared with other ports, related agencies and stakeholders to support and encourage sustainable development.

For more information on the EPA's Ports Initiative and the partnership agreement, visit http://www.epa.gov/ports--initiative.


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