Seaports Magazine - Fall 2013 - (Page 30)

»PORT PROFILE A GOOD NEIGHBOR Community outreach has played a key role in the dredged materials management program that Maryland Port Authority’s Frank L. Hamons has spent the last three decades building By Sarah Sain F rank L. Hamons has received a number of awards and recognitions over the course of his 34-year career as Deputy Director for Harbor Development at the Maryland Port Administration, but when asked of which he holds dear, he instead points to a simple painting of a container ship at berth. The painting was done by students of Living Classrooms studying at the Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center as a thank you for the Center, built by the port in 2009. The painting is a testament to the relationship Hamons has spent more than three decades building with the community. “When they (the students) chose the subject, they didn’t choose the cove, or the environmental center which was built for them, they chose a terminal as a thank you to the port,” he notes. “I think that really shows that sitting down and working out port issues with the port’s neighbors is the best way to do the port’s business.” Joining the Port Hamons, whose background is in biology and ecology, spent 13 years at the Department of Natural Resources in Maryland before joining the port. While working for the DNR as the chief of technical analysis, Hamons was asked to develop a monitoring plan for maintenance of the Port of Baltimore’s harbor channels, which hadn’t been maintained for five years at that time because of controversy over where to place the dredged materials. Hamons developed a state-of-the-art program that monitored the whole operation, addressed the questions raised and enabled a successful project conclusion. What followed was an invitation from the Maryland Port Administration to 30 AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE develop a dredged materials management program. “When I got here there was no program for managing dredged materials. I had the opportunity to start from scratch and put one together, and I’ve been playing the same role ever since,” Hamons recalls. “It’s been a very unique opportunity in the sense that what we developed is a program that does long-range planning, option selection for what to do with dredged material, engineering and design of the selected option, site construction and we operate the sites.” Hamons officially joined the Maryland Port Administration on April 20, 1980. For the 10 years prior, since 1970, the port had an authorized 50-foot channel project, but it had nowhere to put the materials, so the deepening never got off the ground. Construction of a 1,140 acre placement site on Hart-Miller Island had stalled, and resistance to the project from conservationists had reached the Supreme Court. “One of the first things I did at the port was to start doing public outreach. It hadn’t been done at all at that point,” he says. “We began efforts to bring people onboard the program, which was a little tough with HartMiller because the state had studied and selected the site without involving local citizens. We had to sit down with them and find ways to bring them in.” After 14 years of planning and construction, Hart-Miller Island opened in 1984 and took in between 100 million and 110 million cubic yards of dredged material before closing in 2009. Today, the site is home to HartMiller Island State Park, which is included on the Audubon Society’s list of Important Bird Areas. Thousands of Maryland citizens visit the park by boat each year. With Hart-Miller in place, the port was able to complete its 50-foot channel Frank L. Hamons is retiring after 34 years as deputy director for harbor development at the Maryland Port Administration. He’s overseen a number of projects during his time at the port, including Hart-Miller Island, Poplar Island and Masonville Cove. deepening project between 1986 and 1990, but Hamons already had his sights on the future. “We knew that what we needed to do next was a beneficial use project,” he says. “Chesapeake Bay is one of the most scrutinized bodies of water in the world. Whatever you do, a lot of people are interested in it, and they want to know the environmental implications of what’s going to happen.” Poplar Island, originally more than 1,110 acres in size in the Chesapeake Bay, had eroded down to just 5 acres. Hamons saw the project as an opportunity to restore the island’s habitat. With strong support and input from citizens, and with the Corps of Engineers as its project partner, the plan for Poplar Island was authorized in 1996. Construction started in 1998, and the 1,140 acre facility was operational in 2001. Today, almost 100 different species of birds have been seen on Poplar Island, including eagles, herons, pelicans, egrets

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Fall 2013

AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
LNG Poised for Dramatic Growth
Harnessing Wind Power
XXII Latin American Ports Congress Welcomes the World
Energy Policies Taking Hold
Environmental Certifications Offer Tangible Benefits
A Good Neighbor
AAPA to Honor 26 Ports for Communications at 102nd Convention
New Rules for Marine Engines Reduce Port Emissions
Marine-Based Renewable Energy Creating Opportunities on a Global Scale
Curb Energy Costs to Boost Profits, Maintain Competitiveness
Considerations When Evaluating Alternative Power Sources from an Air Perspective
Halifax to Implement Shore Power for 2014 Cruise Season
Aruba Creates Port-Funded Mangrove Reforestation Project
Arica: Meeting the Challenges Presented by Innovation and the Environment
FPL to Build Next Generation Energy Center at Port Everglades
Index of Advertisers

Seaports Magazine - Fall 2013