The Port of Vancouver USA recently completed construction on its rail “trench,” a new pile-supported, watertight rail entrance to the port that’s helping improve the movement of goods through our region by reducing congestion on the rail system.

Like any major construction project, the trench required mitigation efforts to offset potential environmental impacts. To that end, we recently enhanced riparian habitat near Berth 10 at our Terminal 4 by installing eight large woody debris (LWD) structures anchored to the bank of the Columbia River. 

LWD performs important stream functions such as trapping sediment, diverting high water flows, and providing shade and cover for aquatic organisms. Each structure consists of four 30-foot long Douglas Fir logs with intact roots. The logs are carefully arranged in varying patterns to resemble accumulations of these types of debris that happen in the natural environment. Once arranged, these structures were strategically placed below the Columbia River water line to provide habitat for aquatic species such as Chinook , Coho, Steelhead and Sockeye salmon, as well as many other fish species.

Environmental protection and restoration are an essential part of the Port of Vancouver’s environmental values. The port continues to be a leader in the industry, with innovative programs aimed at promoting a healthy environment for wildlife and people alike.