Sustainability has come to the forefront in the wake of increased global understanding that economics, environmental health and human well-being are interconnected and interdependent. The Port of Vancouver USA has taken a leadership role in understanding and promoting sustainability, including how we approach habitat management.
Bird Friendly Program
The port’s location along the Pacific Flyway, a north-south migratory flight path, coupled with its proximity to the Columbia River and Vancouver Lake, makes the area ideal habitat for many types of migratory and resident birds. It also increases the importance of bird-friendly buildings, a concept based on the link between avian injuries and building strikes.
Efforts to reduce the potential for avian building strikes at the port administration building include installation of roller shades on the exterior of select windows. The screens are transparent for staff working inside the building, but present a visible and physical barrier to our passing avian friends.
Mitigation efforts, which include enhancement, restoration, creation and preservation of trees, wetlands and riparian areas, are aimed at offsetting unavoidable impacts due to development and are required as a condition of many permits issued under state and federal law.
The port is also is a partner with Clark County Mitigation Partners, LLC. in the Columbia River Wetland Mitigation Bank, the first of its kind in Clark County. Located on the north side of Lower River Road, the bank provides a highly effective way to preserve valuable habitat and ensure responsible development by improving wetlands in the Lower Columbia River watershed. The Columbia River Wetland Mitigation Bank enhances approximately 78 acres of wetlands, creates an additional 25.5 acres of wetlands and improves other natural areas including songbird habitat.
Units of restored, created, enhanced or preserved wetlands resulting from wetland mitigation banking are expressed as “credits,” and can then be purchased by both public and private sectors to offset development impacts to wetlands within a pre-approved service area. The service area for the Columbia River Wetland Bank extends from the Cowlitz River to Bonneville Dam and extends inland up the Columbia River tributaries to where the tidal influence from the Columbia River ends.