[ it’s show time ]
Come See What’s Afloat at Lake Union Piers
Snag some tix, gather your crew, and head down to the docks: The Boats Afloat returns this month to the shores of Lake Union. The much-anticipated show is the Northwest’s largest exhibition of boats on the water and begins on Thursday, April 27, and goes through the weekend. It will showcase a wide variety of power and sailing yachts, as well as the latest boating equipment and technology.
Dozens of brokers and dealers from the Northwest and western Canada will be on hand to show off more than 225 of their latest yachts, including Emerald Pacific Yachts, Irwin Yacht Sales, Hampton Yacht Group, Worth Avenue Yachts, Oaksmith Yachts, Silver Seas Yachts, Alexander Marine, and many more.
During the show, several top-tier new arrivals and brokerage boats will be seen, including the American debut of the fuel-efficient, aluminum-hulled vessels from U.K.-based Arksen, as well as the introduction of several new fishing boats in the Blackfin line (see this month’s Arrivals features on pages 38-39, and 40-41, respectively, for more). Other boats of note as of press time included: Greenline Yacht’s innovative, not-to-be-missed 48-foot hybrid yacht found at the Ocean Trawler Yachts slip; Worth Avenue Yacht’s 80’ Symbol Pilothouse, Safari (more on pages 44-45); as well as Worth’s new hometown charter vessel, the Cup Dynasty catamaran (more in The Current on page 30).
Attendees, mingling and networking around the boat displays, are expected to number in the thousands. The show’s host, the Northwest Yacht Brokers Association (NYBA), has planned a lineup of curated events for North American boating enthusiasts, including hands-on activities for families, craft cocktail demonstrations, cuisine prepared by Seattle-area chefs, and live music dockside.
Like the last two Boats Afloat shows, this year’s event will again take place at Lake Union Piers in South Lake Union. The new property, formerly known as Chandler’s Cove, is currently under development, so attendees should be forewarned that space may be limited because of the site renovation. (The owner of Lake Union Piers, Vulcan Real Estate, said, however, that the work will cause no interruptions of the planned festivities.)
This year, Northwest Yachting is a sponsor of Boats Afloat and will be handing out copies of the latest edition at our booth, so be sure to stop by. Admission to Boats Afloat is $22 for adults 18 and over, $5 for teens between 13 and 17, and free for children 12 and under. For much more information about the event times, registration information, and other details, visit the NYBA website at: boatsafloatshow.com.
[ news from the north ]
Bellingham Joins Green Marine, Welcomes Corvus Energy to Port
As many Puget Sound-area cities, such as Seattle, Bremerton, Everett, and Mukilteo, are following through on their ambitious plans for waterfront revitalization, the city of Bellingham is joining the party by welcoming new “green” maritime businesses, seeking a meaningful environmental performance certification, and purchasing property for marine industry development.
In February, the Port of Bellingham began taking part in the well-respected Green Marine program, which certifies municipalities for their efforts to go beyond baseline regulations, support sustainable businesses, and take part in environmental cleanup within the marine industry. The previous month, the Port also celebrated the opening of a new Corvus Energy marine battery manufacturing operation in the town of Fairhaven.
To obtain certification via Green Marine, the Port of Bellingham must comply with several requirements, including the assessment of their environmental excellence, on a scale of one to five, in accordance with the program’s framework of 14 performance indicators. These indicators include such areas as greenhouse gas emission reduction, spill prevention, stormwater management, aquatic invasive species mitigation, waste management, air pollutant reductions, underwater noise abatement, and other measurements of community impacts. These scores are then reviewed and independently verified every two years by various environmental stakeholders, scientific communities, and local governments.
Part of the certification score will likely come from the Port’s support of the new Corvus battery factory, which is now producing Orca ESS lithium-ion cells specifically for zero-emission boats. Headquartered in Norway, Corvus is now utilizing previously vacant industrial buildings in Bellingham to expand its reach into the U.S. market to meet the growing demand for hybrid and zero-emission vessels and to provide the region with coveted green jobs.
“Washington state was a natural choice for Corvus due to its presence of a strong maritime cluster, the state’s focus on green shipping, and the proximity to our Richmond facility in Canada,” said Geir Bjørkeli, CEO of Corvus Energy.
Bellingham now joins the ports of Everett, Seattle, and Olympia as Puget Sound-area Green Marine participants. In total, about 45 marine-related businesses in the Pacific Northwest have joined the voluntary program, making it one of the most active regions in the U.S. and Canada. Since its founding in 2007, Green Marine has attracted more than 180 ship owners, port authorities, terminal operators, and shipyards across North America.
In another move completed earlier this year, the Port purchased six buildings with roughly 71,000 square feet of office and industrial space, spanning six acres near Squalicum Harbor. The properties were bought from Fiber Glass Systems, LP, which will relocate its staff to another port-owned building at Bellwether on the Bay.
“Whatcom County’s industries are thriving and there is strong demand for port-owned land and industrial space,” said Michael Shepard, president of the Port Commission.
Some notable properties operated by the Port include the Bellingham Shipping Terminal, the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, Squalicum and Blaine harbors, and Bellingham International Airport, as well as several other industrial development areas, commercial uplands, and public parks. Throughout Whatcom County, the Port owns approximately 1.4 million square feet of office, commercial, and industrial building space and has contracts with 250 industrial and commercial tenants.
To keep abreast of the latest developments at this north-end port, go to: portofbellingham.com.
[ moving maritime forward ]
Interior Officially Approves Maritime Washington National Heritage Area
Nearly five years after it was first designated by the U.S. Congress, the Maritime Washington National Heritage Area (NHA)—a protected zone running the length of Washington’s coastline—is set to cast off as the federal Department of the Interior has finally, and officially, approved of the management plan to honor the cultural significance (this is spelled right) of the state’s saltwater shoreline.
By giving essentially her stamp of approval for the NHA plan last November, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has completed a more than decade-long journey to tie together the public and private interests in the future of coastal usage between hundreds of conservationists, businesses, environmental organizations, governments, and tribes.
Stretching from Grays Harbor on the southwest coast to the Canadian border, including the southern shore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the entire Puget Sound estuarine system, the NHA totals an astounding 3,000 miles. The boundary also extends a quarter of a mile inland from the shore’s mean high tide line, bordering on 21 tribal nations, 13 state counties, 32 cities, and 33 port districts.
“We still have a very active maritime heritage,” said Alexandra Gradwohl, Maritime Washington’s new program director. “It’s a world that is very alive and well here among people from many diverse background and cultures.”
The plan for managing the landmark NHA formation was coordinated by the nonprofit Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, which has presented an implementation framework that will guide the NHA’s actions over the next 10 to 15 years. Under the Trust’s plan, Maritime Washington will support maritime partnerships to attract more funding opportunities, enhance cross-sector and cross-regional relationships, and broaden networks for sharing ideas.
Soon after Maritime Washington received its federal blessing, the Trust was bolstered again in February with a $350,000 grant from the Vancouver, WA-based M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust to support the NHA’s efforts.
Currently, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is assisting with several new projects, including a creation of the interpretive materials for a new visitor center at the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend; collaborating with Sea Potential, an organization dedicated to bringing more BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) youth into the maritime field; and, curating a photo series about maritime trades across the region.
The Federal National Heritage Area program was created by Congress to protect places where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a “nationally important landscape” of public and private partnerships. Although they are supported by the National Park Service, NHAs are locally run, completely voluntary entities. NHA designation involves no change in ownership of land and no added rules or regulations. Maritime Washington is one of only 62 such NHAs in the nation and the only one focused on maritime heritage.
For more information on the Maritime Washington National Heritage Area, visit: preservewa.org/programs/maritime-national-heritage-area/.