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Clark County Newcomers Club enjoys tour of Port of Vancouver

The Columbian
Published: June 8, 2024, 5:13am

FRUIT VALLEY — Clark County Newcomers Club participated in a bus tour of the Port of Vancouver on May 29. Julie Rawls, community relations manager for the port, welcomed the group and gave a presentation about commerce conducted at the port and how it connects our community to the world.

The tour bus passed by yards filled with turbine blades and towers for the wind industry, grain silos, shredded scrap metal piles, liquid bulk containers filled with jet fuel and cleaning solvents, huge areas containing Subarus imported from Japan (typically 3,000-5,000 autos per ship), two military ships — one is contracted to be in port for eight years, the other will dock for 90 days.

Other points of interest included: Buoys on the river serving as “parking lots” for ships waiting to tie up to a dock; a bee habitat for a pollination study; and the Fort Vancouver Seafarers Center, which provides a place for merchant mariners to shop, prepare home-cooked meals and enjoy a quiet break from noisy ship environments.

The group also learned about the roles bar pilots, river pilots and tugboat captains play in safe navigation of the Columbia River, and toured the reconstruction of the pier taking place at Terminal 1, near the Interstate 5 Bridge.