A Look Ahead at 2012

The largest investment made by PAPA to its marina facilities last year was the reconfiguration of the floats at China Creek Marina. As documented in the Port Authority’s July article the reconfiguration was the end result of a great deal of brainstorming and compromise necessitated by the ongoing sediment flowing down the mountainside and into the boat basin with the primary, dictating factor being protection – and where possible, restoration – of marine habitat. Additionally, the Port installed water and power to all the floats for access to all boats tied up at China Creek Marina. Following a season that included some disruptions and greatly appreciated patience among staff and users of China Creek Marina the Port is hopeful for a strong, sustainable fishing season in 2012 for all to enjoy.
2011 saw the return of not one but two cruise ship visits by Holland America Line to Port Alberni. Feedback from passengers, crew and officers of the vessels as well as from the ships’ agent was overwhelmingly positive. While no commitments for cruise ships this year have been received we do have indications that 2013 may be a welcoming year during the shoulder seasons again. The Port Authority will continue to work with cruise company decision makers and community partners to help offer what Port Alberni has proven to be a unique, niche cruise destination product.
Shipping saw a dramatic increase in total number of vessel calls and gross tonnage loaded. Of course, we’d like to see the proportion of lumber relative to the shipment of logs increase. PAPA hopes industry developments will foster this goal in 2012. Regardless, each shipping vessel represents jobs and an infusion of economic stimulus into our local and regional economy. Given the natural, infrastructure and human assets of this community the Port Authority has been working to build awareness and knowledge with senior governments towards contributing to and capitalizing on the opportunities of the Asia Pacific Gateway Canada Initiative as it evolves.
Finally, 2011 culminated in the announcement of a successful funding application from Island Coastal Economic Trust in support of the $8.2million+ Fishermen’s Harbour Project. Financial contributions have also been received from Small Craft Harbours and Community Futures’ WestCCAP with support from the City’s Economic Development Manager. The major piece of the project, the floating breakwater, is in the final stages of preparation to be towed to Port Alberni and installed off of Harbour Quay’s Argyle Pier. At 410 feet in total length and 50 feet wide this floating breakwater and the opportunity for development on its deck will represent the most significant waterfront development since the creation of Harbour Quay itself. Over the coming months in 2012 and as the Fishermen’s Harbour Project phases unfold into next year and beyond the Port Alberni Port Authority looks forward to continuing to contribute to the community’s growth as Port Alberni starts its next 100 years.