One of the major environmental concerns in Oregon at the present time is the salmon issue. Research the life-cycle of the salmon in Pacific Northwest river systems, including current statistics. What effects have ports and dams had on salmon and its habitat? Prepare a debate on the pros and cons of removing some of the dams on Oregon rivers in order to protect wild salmon.
Current environmental issues related to aviation services at Oregon ports include airport noise- abatement proposals and proper disposal of the runoff from de-icing airplanes. Invite a port aviation representative to visit your classroom to discuss the methods being used now and those proposed for implementation in the future. How do these methods represent an effort to balance the economic and environmental needs of Oregon related to ports and trade?
Visit a drydock at one of the ports located near you to observe its operation. Discuss how ship sandblasting and painting are currently conducted to reduce negative effects on the environment and wildlife. Compare the current methods used with those used in the past.
Investigate the pros and cons of deepening the Columbia River Channel to 43 feet to better enable the handling of the new generation of larger, deep-draft vessels that are fully loaded. What environmental effects might this project have on the ecosystems of Oregon? Write a letter to your Congressperson stating your views on this issue.
In 1998 a study conducted by the state Department of Environmental Quality and the federal Environmental Protection Agency found that a century of industrial and maritime activity at the Portland Harbor had contaminated the Columbia Rivers sediments, which could lead to its potential listing as a Superfund Cleanup Site. Research this issue. What effects could this listing have on the operation of ports in Oregon and on the ecology of the Portland Harbor? What are the goals of the Superfund program?
Many ports have developed riverbank management plans, with goals to protect their maritime and industrial waterfront property investments, improve river water quality and provide wildlife habitat. Choose one of the 23 ports in Oregon and study the plants and animals that inhabit the area, as well as the water, soil and air resources. Prepare a Users Guide to the Port Ecosystem, listing the ways the integrity of the ecosystem has been hurt or protected in the past, and ways it could be improved in the future.
Map of teacher's on-line resource.
Innovation and Change
Extensions to student activities on advances in the technology and techniques of fishing.