Harbor Vision Task Force

About the Harbor Vision Task Force

The Sierra Club Harbor Vision Task Force was founded in 2001 to explore ways in which the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach can grow in volume while decreasing the negative environmental and social impacts of the port. The Sierra Club is committed to port capacity growth believing that well-managed port growth can provide the needed opportunity to improve the port.

At the same time, considering the massive negative impact of the ports on the environment, local communities and individuals most at risk from the port's pollution (longshore workers, truckers and children who live along the shipping corridors that fan out from the port), the Sierra Club is committed to the principle that there should be no further increase in the port's negative impact.

This means eliminating the total amount of pollution that the port directly and indirectly generates starting with a cap at the current level. It also means a halt to continued port sprawl, into nearby communities and in the harbor. As the port grows, it must get cleaner.

Further, it means working aggressively toward a future that reduces the port's negative impact to as close to zero as possible by using modern technology and management techniques.

Also, to the extent that port modernization will of necessarily change the nature of the labor positions that service the port, it means protecting labor continuity. When technology causes new jobs to replace old jobs, workers in the outgoing jobs should have the first opportunity to be retrained and take on the incoming jobs. Nor should worker compensation, safety or labor organization be compromised in the process. If any changes cause net loss in the number of positions, a "just transitions" strategy must be used.

We believe that by working to establish a plan for a model facility in the nation's busiest port and the world's third busiest, we are laying groundwork that can be used to modernize all ports. We recognize that the completion of a model port plan will require national and international cooperation.

Today's port is a great environmental and economic liability to Southern California and neighboring communities. If we do not take aggressive positions to modernize our ports, we can expect severe infrastructure, health, environmental and labor problems to develop around older technologies and practices that are not up to the contemporary challenges posed by expanded shipping.

If we do work aggressively, we believe a model port implementation will benefit the community, labor, the environment, national security and the shippers who ultimately drive port expansion.

If you’d like to get involved with the work of this Task Force, contact Gabrielle Weeks [gweeks (at) angeles.sierraclub.org] or Angelica Gonzalez [angelica.gonzalez (at) sierraclub.org].