Port and Harbor Planning Within Urban Areas as They Pertain to Coast Guard Facilities Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Integrated Urban Port and Harbor Planning With Environmental Assessment and Coast Guard Facilities

Port planning is a multifaceted project that involves technical, operational, economic, social, and environmental aspects. The projects may range from terminal rehabilitation until altering the whole area into a communal park, involving several different aspects in economic, social, cultural, ethical, and environmental goals.

Every area has unique resources, which need to be incorporated into the whole planning process based on the local legal regulation. As with differences in geographical characteristics, it is necessary to find particular approach to the short- and long-term goals of the port, and every detailed construction or facilities provided. The port and harbor must meet the need on how to convert the urban area into a beneficial site as well as to maintain its original characteristics of the landscape including - and without overlooking - the resident people's objectives for the future. It also needs to defend the sustainability of the area to support the harbor progress in the subsequent decades.

Before going to the planning itself, setting appropriate goals is very essential. It is necessary to state clearly in details how to make the most of the existing features, and later decides what approaches will be taken.

The decision making process for an urban oriented area should consider these following outlooks. According to Nicholas (1982), land use in urban center is usually compact. The city has settled a decentralization trend; where accessibility is in high demand, carrying multiple functions, mostly in trading, manufactures, state naval activities, tourism and other growing industries related to the rapid community sprawl. The social use follows such as recreational and ethical use.

The Land Use Coding Manual has classified land use based on the people-oriented activities. A port or harbor should meet this expectance, that the land use should be maximized in a concentrated manufacturing center, which will give sufficient income not only to the harbor but also to the local people. In the more detailed plan, ports and harbors are usually planned to be the good housing and within convenient public access for cargo, shipping, fishing and docking business, and other related industries. Any decisions have to refer to support this goals, such as infrastructure development, providing effective traffic line in the area, closing less incompetent facilities and deciding which area will be the center of public, recreational, and/or manufacturing activities.

As an example, Port of San Francisco has a global strategic plan to be a center of public activities, which fulfills the "balance of maritime, recreational, industrial, transportation, public access and commercial activities."

One of the strategies is building industrial and transportation facilities on the site, which is split into some functional goals, such as: to increase cargo-shipping volume and to support commercial ferry activities.

In the process the port plans to work together with current shipping line customers and get into the local trade with "aggressive" marketing projects. For the physical support, the port plans to build infrastructure "to make cargo terminals more efficient."

The existing characteristics of the site are the powerful sources the plan should refer to. Leverburgh, UK, as an example, is a flat area about 17 hectares partly undeveloped. The facilities of the area are limited to fishing pier and ferry terminal. Public facilities are waiting room for ferry passengers, then fishing equipment and tank storage in an undeveloped open land. Other buildings do not have any significant function. The land ownership belongs to the Council, and a part of it belongs to the Island Enterprise that developed industrial units.

The Council sees a lot of opportunities to develop the area. Some main aspects to consider in the proposal are:

1. Road Access constructions new road is urgently needed to provide another option of access to the ferry port, since the existing access is inadequate and quite hazardous for the busy traffic.

2. Fishing Industry Facilities

Leverburgh already possess basic fishing equipments although it is limited and stored improperly, which will be easy to steal or damaged. The improper fishing storage system will also cause damages to the environment and esthetical look of the port itself.

The Council thinks in building a new parking and storage facilities here, which is accessible to vehicles to ensure that the products are transported conveniently and punctually. The storage will be equipped with fuel station, enough lighting, and security stations. It is also aforementioned in the proposal that the system should not bring any devastating effects of pollution (sewage, noise, lighting) to the surrounding area.

The facilities improvement is also shown in how a breakwater construction is necessary to increase vessel safety and make port enlargement. The pier will be extended, and there is also landing facilities and slipways improvement to build. With fishing facilities put in the priority, similar conditions could apply in America.

San Francisco Port also plans to market intensive service in developing facilities for commercial fishing industry. The facilities will include fish handling facilities, certified with "safe, efficient and environmentally" sound friendly. To continue market diversification, it proposed the market facilities to harbor service customer and ship repair industry.

As port managements work hard in marketing and entering the port into the commerce they also need to secure the visitors and business partners on how the activities are secure for long-term business relationships.

US Coastal Guard provides any required equipments on the strategic site of the harbor and functions as an information center on how to deal with every problem that may arise. The kind of facilities provided would depend on how the port is associated with.

As commercial port, USCG allows commercial ships with standard equipments. It provides wide range of information in commercial vessel safety, port safety and security, and marine safety.

According to Coast Guard, commercial fishing is one of the most hazardous industry in the U.S.A., so it is necessary to put the information available for people, and they put it into Coast Guard's Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety (CFVS) program.

A major port can directly bear the plan of becoming a major trade center in international scope. In this position, the function of the harbor is also as an industrial development and this is a very promising future of a plan.

It also needs to see the prospect in industrializing one existing business, for example, expanding the function of the port as fishing dock, into something bigger like building infrastructures to be fish processing industry. A large cold storage can be applied to lease, and finally it becomes a large-scale packing outlet.

The Port of Houston is a good example for this. Mainly the Port of Houston concentrates on cargo handling services and other vessel related services around the port main area. Several terminals are built with each main function separately. Offering the trading-related services after all can diversify the function.

Right now the port makes use of its strategic site to offer the free trading zone. The free trading zone is a special location or facility where merchandises are loaded and unloaded for export and import.

In the free trading zone all foreign and domestic merchandise is treated as merchandise from outside the U.S. According to the port's website, the merchandise can be transported into the FTZ without formal customs entry, import quotas and other regulations, and it is duty free until the merchandise is coming into the U.S. commerce. This service offers special advantages for business, that customs duty is delayed until the merchandise leaves the zone.

As industrial location, land use regulation and clear leasing or buying and selling statement would be critical. Especially when the location is easily accessible and eligible to be a major port and able to provide industrial standard infrastructure like highway, warehouse, office sites; it has to be a good collaboration between the local authority and the port authority. Mismanagement of the land use may hinder the port from prospective future.

There is however the bigger environmental impact and social and environmental responsibility the port bears as the location converts into industrial area. Industry will be the main source of pollutants.

A very clear example of industrial hazardous product is metal, especially heavy metals. According to EPA, many functions in the sailing, shipping, and maintenance activities involve metals in the whole process.

Some examples of those hazardous metals commonly found around harbors are:

Lead, used as fuel additive, found in ballast water, resulted from incomplete combustion

Arsenic, used as paint compound, pesticides, preservatives

Zinc, as anti-corrosion agent used in metal maintenance

Copper and tin, as biocides in antifoulant paint.

As dissolved in the waters, metal becomes quite hard to manage and it is easily distributed in the water column. Metal also deposited in the silt and clay sediment as current dispersed and moves around the water body, and become toxic to aquatic organisms.

The severe pollution of metal is dangerous to the continuation of the water quality and sustainability itself. When it is not meeting the fatal threshold toxicity level, metal still accumulates in sediment and organisms bringing…

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