The Port of Columbia County hosted the 106th Annual Conference of the Association of Pacific Ports (APP) on July 14-17. This is the first time the international conference has been held by the port. Over 75 delegates were in attendance, including port professionals, dignitaries, and maritime industry leaders from ports along the Pacific Rim in the U.S., British Columbia and Asia.
The conference was held in downtown Portland, Oregon, but attendees spent Tuesday touring the Port of Columbia County, with stops in Scappoose and St. Helens. The port’s boundaries span 51 miles along the Columbia River, from the Clatsop County line in the northwest of Columbia County, to the Multnomah County line in the southeast.
Several public officials also attended the port district tour, with Senator Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, giving the opening remarks at the welcome dinner on Sunday.
“It’s a big deal that we were selected to host this conference,” said Port of Columbia County Executive Director Doug Hayes. “It allowed us to display the unique qualities of our port and show that we are a highly diversified driver of the economy in this region.”
Prior to the start of the conference, attendees could register to go either on a kayaking tour at the Scappoose Bay Paddling Center or
golfing at Wildwood Golf Course.
“While the meeting sessions were held at a venue outside of our district, we made a point of planning local activities and using local vendors as much as possible,” said Hayes. “We really wanted to use this opportunity to showcase Columbia County and everything that we have to offer to this international audience.”
This year’s busy conference agenda focused on port initiatives and technical presentations around Deteriorating Infrastructure, Financing, Energy Efficiencies, Environmental Impact, Logistics in the Pacific, and Sustainable Infrastructure.
APP is a trade association founded in 1913 for the purpose of bringing together leaders from ports and businesses from across the Pacific to build partnerships, share best practices and learn what is working and what is not, as ports throughout the Pacific face similar challenges in different environments.
Some current APP members include ports in Alaska, American Samoa, British Columbia, California, Guam, Hawaii, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Oregon, Saipan, Taiwan, and Washington state.