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Community: Long Beach, Seattle, Toledo

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The Port of Long Beach recently announced $2.6 million in community grants to improve air quality in and around the local community. The Port of Seattle unveiled details about this year’s Port 101 community education series, which kicks off on September 12. In Ohio, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority dedicated a new industrial park to the people who worked at the site when it used to manufacture military Jeeps, Jeep Wranglers and Jeep Cherokees. 

Long Beach Grants Program Announces $2.6 Million in Community Air Quality Improvement Projects

New air-filtering systems for Long Beach classrooms and park centers, health education for families with asthma and mobile medical clinics are among the 32 projects funded by $2.6 million in community grants recently awarded by the Port of Long Beach.

The Port’s community grant programs were established in 2009 as an innovative way to address the cumulative environmental impacts of its redevelopment and modernization projects. The latest round of Port Community Mitigation Grants raises to $17.4 million the amount awarded to health organizations, schools, preschools and city parks to reduce the impact of air pollution in the community.

The new grants included 25 awards totaling $1.54 million for schools, preschools and city parks, mostly for indoor air-filtration systems, windows and air-conditioning upgrades that reduce air pollution.

Another seven grants adding up to nearly $1.09 million were announced for mobile health units, screening programs and local health education – mainly focusing on asthma. A local health group, area chapters of national health organizations, the City of Long Beach Health and Human Services Department, a local hospital and two clinics received the grants.

"These funds will help students enjoy better air quality in school and at park centers, and will also provide valuable health services – for example health workers will show families who have children with asthma to better cope with the disease, to avoid asthma attacks and trips to the emergency room," said Harbor Commission President Thomas Fields. "We’re delighted to help Long Beach breathe easier."

Seattle to Begin Port 101 Series to Educate Local Community Members

The Port of Seattle recently announced the 2013 Port 101 series of educational tours for the local community aimed at giving area adults a first-hand view of local maritime and aviation industries at work. Beginning September 12 and running on four separate nights through October 3, the series will consist of sessions entitled Cargo 101, Duwamish River 101, Airport 101 and Ship Canal 101.

The two-and-a-half hour sessions include tours and guest speakers. For each session, the port has partnered with a variety of organizations, including Eagle Marine Services, BNSF Railway, Puget Sound Pilots, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 19, Foss Maritime, Ballard Oil, Pacific Fishermen Shipyard, Western Towboat, Trident Seafoods, Coastal Transportation, Kvichak Marine and others. Community members can attend individual sessions or the entire series free of cost. 

Launched in 2007 after using the model of a highly successful individual event entitled Fishing 101, the Port 101 series aims to broaden the public’s understanding of the port’s role, educate participants on port initiatives, build support for port activities and provide an opportunity to build relationships with fenceline communities. In 2007, AAPA bestowed an Award of Excellence in its annual Communications Award Competition for the Port 101 series. 

Toledo Dedicates New Industrial Park to Former Jeep Factory Employees

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, along with other community leaders, recently dedicated the Overland Industries Park to people who have worked on the former Jeep Parkway site over the years. Current and retired autoworkers attended the ceremony, along with local officials, including Toledo Mayor Mike Bell and Port Authority President Paul Toth.

An industrial park will grow up at the site of the former Jeep factory, which was torn down in 2007 after nearly 100 years of operation, and around the one remaining smokestack that exists as a testimonial to the site’s former use. At the dedication ceremony on August 28, Toth unveiled a bronze plaque that will be affixed to the smokestack that dedicates the land to those who worked there over the years. 

Local officials and community leaders dedicate a plaque to former Jeep factory workers at the new Overland Industrial Park.
Photo/Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority

The port acquired the 111-acre site in 2010 and has spent about $8.5 million since then to clean contaminants from the grounds, remove old concrete foundations, install utilities and begin building roadways.

This spring, the port announced a deal with industrial gas company Airgas Inc. that will bring a 40,000-square-foot facility to the Overland Industrial Park. The port also recently approved construction of a 100,000-square-foot "spec" building to be put up by Harmon Family Development Corp.

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