Seattle Cruise Control
Port of Seattle Update 2/10/22
Good news! The Port of Seattle has pulled a planned third cruise ship terminal at T46 for at least the next five years.
Interestingly, though not necessarily surprising, the Port didn’t announce this outright, and Seattle Cruise Control (a grassroots organization concerned about the great harms cruising causes to the environment, marine life, pollution of air and water and the industry’s disregard of worker’s rights), first heard about it from a recent KUOW interview Josh McNichols did with Port Commission President Ryan Calkins. One of our members reached out to Peter McGraw, the Port’s Senior Media Officer to confirm the information and received his reply in an email. “The RFP was cancelled in 2020, and there are no plans for a new cruise terminal in our 5-year capital development plan passed in November. That’s as far out as we go with our planning and construction efforts. Anything beyond that would be conjecture at this point.”
Seattle Cruise Control (SCC) understands that the decision to halt T46 was made mostly due to business considerations, rather than environmental, climate, or public health concerns, and that Covid had everything to do with the project becoming a less attractive business idea. However, we believe that our groups’ consistent testimony at Port Commission meetings over the past two years addressing the harms cruising causes has brought this information to light and has helped to encourage a broader conversation about Port business.
Seattle Cruise Control along with other groups worked hard to elect Toshiko Hasegawa and Hamdi Mohamed, the first two women of color, as new Port Commissioners in last November’s election. In recent comments at a Port Commission meeting Commissioner Hasagawa seemed interested in contemplating whether cruise is a viable regional industry. Definitely new thinking from a Port Commissioner.
Regarding T46, there is talk of using part of it for cargo storage and docking of icebreakers, and Commission President Calkins has suggested using it as a staging area for wind turbine development.
Now that the third cruise ship terminal is halted, SCC has pivoted to a new campaign, #CruiseFreeSalishSea. This campaign aims to work towards decreasing and ending the cruise business in Seattle and look at Washington State’s Laws, RCW 53, which empowers the Port. Economic expansion at all costs is no longer viable, and environmental, climate and health concerns have to be on par in importance with any and all economic considerations.
Iris Antman, SSCAN leader, etc.