May is for Maritime – Big Waterfront Events
Once upon a time, local visionaries realized that Seattle’s natural deep-water port was an asset for the city, and a resource that should belong to the people. Their efforts helped the Washington State Legislature enact laws allowing establishment of port districts in March, 1911. By that September, King County voters approved creation of the Port of Seattle, the state’s first public port.
As Seattle grew beyond downtown, so did the Port of Seattle. In 2011, its services include a cargo and passenger seaport, Sea-Tac airport, a home for the North Pacific fishing fleet, first-class public marinas and conference facilities, even a string of parks around Elliot Bay. Its cruise line business snagged a huge win a month ago when on April 6th, Disney Cruises announced their move from Vancouver, B.C. to Seattle for the 2012 cruise season.
The Port of Seattle enters its second century with huge changes on the horizon. The first is the redevelopment of the Seattle Waterfront itself. Over 1,000 attended the first meeting held by Waterfront designer James Corner Field Operationss on February 17, which kicked off public input on its future vision and potential uses. Nearly 2,000 responses via questionnaire and email from the Seattle public were received. The second is replacing the central portion of the Elliott Bay Seawall. This part is being handled by the Seattle Department of Transportation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Port of Seattle is working with both entities on the best plan for the city and the next Waterfront meeting, where James Corner presents their first design concept, is scheduled for Thursday, May 19th. For more information, just visit the waterfront website.
The Port of Seattle has a great centennial link with historical data on timelines, maps, stories and more. There is also a calendar of events for the remainder of the year. Here, we’ve attached a .pdf on May 12-14’s Seattle Maritime Festival events. These include the “world’s largest tugboat race” along the Downtown Seattle Waterfront, a Chowder Cook-Off, survival suit races, a boat building competition, vessel tours, sea-air rescue demonstration, kids’ activities, Stories of the Sea, Career Day and a container ship full of family fun. There is no charge for any of these events. Maritime_Fest_20110422
The efforts of the Port of Seattle and the Downtown Waterfront are huge contributors to the high quality of life we enjoy in this city. We hope you’ll check out the Maritime Festival. We’ve come a long way in 100 years, and we’re sailing full steam ahead into an exciting future.
(Photos of Fisherman’s Terminal 2, Container Ship Terminal 19, SeaTac Aiport, Tugboat Races and Shilshole Bay Marina courtesy of the Port of Seattle)