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Port of Everett Environmental Projects Earn Three International Seaport Industry Awards

Date: Nov 27, 2023

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) — the unified and collective voice of the seaport industry across the Americas — has awarded the Port of Everett with three Lighthouse Awards for environmental projects.

AAPA Awards - Copy

AAPA, a member organization representing more than 130 public port districts in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, presents the annual Lighthouse Awards to recognize innovation and excellence in the port industry.

“Lighthouse Awards are an annual American Association of Port Authorities tradition where we recognize outstanding achievement in the port industry,” AAPA President and CEO Cary Davis said. “Congratulations to all our award winners in every category. I am proud of all their hard work and the high bar they have set for maritime commerce. Bravo Zulu.”

The Port of Everett received the Overall Facilities Engineering Excellence Award (1st Place) for its Norton Terminal cleanup and redevelopment project, the Overall Environmental Improvement Award (1st place) for its Blue Heron Slough restoration and a Communications Award of Distinction (2nd place) for a Blue Heron Slough video – both projects are direct outcomes of the Port’s long range environmental strategy and were delivered in 2022.

“I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to everyone involved in these award-winning projects,” Port of Everett Commission President Glen Bachman said. “I couldn't be prouder of this team's exceptional accomplishments. Thank you for your outstanding contributions and for setting a standard of excellence in our field.”

Overall Facilities Engineering Excellence Award for Norton Terminal

The Port of Everett’s new 40-acre Norton Terminal opened last year, marking the first all-new cargo terminal to open on the U.S. West Coast in more than a decade.

The $40 million investment involved the environmental cleanup and redevelopment of the former Kimberly-Clark mill site to put it back into productive use after sitting vacant for 10 years. The once-contaminated property now nearly doubles the Port’s cargo-handling capacity and supports more than 950 jobs while cleaning up the environment.

The work involved the final upland cleanup of legacy contamination at the site and the installation of a 9-inch-thick pavement environmental cap that incorporates environmental controls and state-of-the-art stormwater treatment for the first time in the property’s history. The cap also doubles as a cargo terminal.

Since opening last year, more than 2,500 containers and over 13,220 tons of breakbulk have moved through Norton Terminal.

“I’m so proud of our team for their innovation and commitment to designing projects in a way that improves the environment while also creating economic development,” Port of Everett CEO Lisa Lefeber said. “It is wonderful to have our small but mighty port get recognized on an international level.”

Overall Environmental Improvement Award for Blue Heron Slough

Norton Terminal.2023 (1 of 1)The Port of Everett’s Blue Heron Slough is 353 acres of restored Snohomish River estuary habitat between the cities of Everett and Marysville. In 2022, the Port returned the former farmland to its natural condition as estuarine habitat to aid in Chinook salmon and bull trout recovery and support food supply for Southern Resident orcas in Puget Sound.

The $20 million investment also improves water quality, provides flood protection, increases bird habitat and offsets greenhouse gas emissions. Blue Heron Slough also serves as a mitigation bank, balancing economic development with a healthier environment. The restoration site is larger in footprint than the Port of Everett Seaport, Naval Station Everett and Waterfront Place combined.

This work reconnected the former estuary to the Snohomish River sloughs to restore natural habitat-forming processes. It involved the creation of a mosaic of estuarine mudflats, tidal marshes, riparian habitats, islands and, over time, some forested wetlands.

Communications Award of Distinction for Blue Heron Slough Video

_S8A4786a Skytech - CopyThe Port of Everett created a video about the Blue Heron Slough restoration to show the site’s massive transformation with drone footage and aerial photography and honor the Port’s many project partners in a meaningful way. Since its launch, the video has been watched more than 22,000 times.

The restoration was completed in partnership with Wildlands and the Port Gardner Bay Trustees, comprised of the Tulalip Tribes, Suquamish Tribe, U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Washington State Department of Ecology.

The Lighthouse Awards were presented at the AAPA’s 112th Annual Convention & Expo on Oct. 24 at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Aurora, Colorado.

For additional information, contact Catherine Soper, Port of Everett Communications & Marketing Director, at


About American Association of Port Authorities

The American Association of Port Authorities is the unified voice of the seaport industry in the Americas, representing more than 130 public port authorities in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. For more than a century, AAPA membership has empowered port authorities and their maritime industry partners to serve global customers and create economic and social value for their communities. AAPA events, resources and partnerships connect, inform and unify seaport leaders and maritime professionals who deliver prosperity around the Western Hemisphere. For its U.S. members, AAPA provides compelling advocacy and effective public outreach to influence seaports’ most urgent public policy issues. Today, AAPA continues to promote the common interests of the port community, and provides critical industry leadership on security, trade, transportation, infrastructure, environmental and other issues related to port development and operations. The AAPA’s annual Lighthouse Awards recognizes the best programs and projects in the port industry in four categories: communications, environmental improvement, facilities engineering and information technology. Learn more @

About the Port of Everett

The Port of Everett is a special-purpose district tasked with economic development. Through the operation of international shipping terminals, the largest public marina on the West Coast and real estate development, the Port of Everett supports nearly 40,000 jobs in the region and contributes $433 million to state and local taxes. The Port strives to bring quality jobs, business, and tourism opportunities to its local and surrounding communities, and is committed to enhancing, restoring and preserving the overall environmental health of the waterfront. Learn more at