As part of its continuing focus on sustainability, the Port of Olympia has completed a baseline inventory of greenhouse gas emissions generated by Port activities at its downtown and airport facilities. Greenhouse gases are substances that contribute to climate change by trapping heat in the atmosphere. The four main GHG’s are: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. The assessment evaluated Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions as defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Currently, the Port of Olympia emits the equivalent of 19 average American households worth of GHG’s a year. The majority of emissions come from Scope 2 sources (purchased energy). See Figure 1.
Figure 1. Port of Olympia GHG Emissions
While our carbon footprint is relatively small, we are still compelled
to identify opportunities for reduction. Over the next months, the Port
will identify opportunities to reduce emissions in hopes that our 2017
assessment shows improvement from 2015.
Sea Level Rise
Current trends in sea rise and weather patterns are concerning. The risk of widespread flooding in Downtown Olympia increases as sea levels rise and weather systems become increasingly volatile. The magnitude and timing of sea level rise is uncertain, but the risk is clear. Downtown Olympia, including the Port of Olympia peninsula, are vulnerable to flooding. Sea level rise will increase the likelihood of flooding. Without action, maintaining downtown public and private services will be challenging.
The Port of Olympia, City of Olympia and LOTT Clean Water Alliance are collaborating to develop a response plan for protecting the downtown area.
The entities have hired a consultant, AECOM, to assist in the development of the response plan. The plan will evaluate flooding risks and vulnerabilities for the range of downtown users. From this evaluation, response strategies will emerge and actions prioritized. The plan must be specific, yet phased and adaptable. We expect to bring a draft plan to the Port Commission, Olympia City Council and LOTT's Board of Directors in the fall of 2018.