As part of its continuing focus on sustainability, the Port of Olympia has completed its 2017 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions report. The report is an inventory of emissions generated by Port activities at its downtown, Lacey and airport facilities. The inventory, compiled per the Washington State Department of Ecology protocol, shows the Port has reduced its Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2e emissions since 2015, maintaining a relatively small carbon footprint.
As of 2017, Port activities were estimated to generate approximately 583 metric tons of Scope 1 carbon dioxide (MT CO2e) per year, an amount equivalent to approximately 23 American families. Under the State Agencies Climate Leadership Act, Washington State only requires annual monitoring and reporting for entities generating in excess of 10,000 MT CO2e per year. While our carbon footprint is relatively small, we are still compelled to identify opportunities for reduction.
Figure 1 GHG Emissions
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.