December 23, 2022 — Each month, Business Oregon provides an update on their efforts. This is a great resource for our Oregon Port Members to learn about activities in their state.

Business Oregon Updates
Statewide Capital Facilities Plan for Oregon Ports The 2010 Strategic Business Plan for Oregon’s Statewide Port System included a recommendation to create a statewide Capital Facilities Plan (CFP) for Oregon ports. The 2010 plan was formally adopted by the Oregon Business Development Commission and Infrastructure Finance Authority Board and serves as Business Oregon’s policy for engaging with ports. Over the course of the next few months, I will be drafting a statewide Capital Facilities Plan and reaching out to each port to have a conversation about your top three capital projects for inclusion in the statewide CFP. There will be more refining done as I work through this process, including a discussion about whether and how to prioritize this list in the future. Stay tuned!

Please keep an eye out for an email from me if we haven’t yet connected. Feel free to reach out if you have questions or comments about the statewide CFP.

Intergovernmental Updates
Oregon Freight Plan Update Federal rules require each state to prepare a freight plan and update it every 4 years (previously 5 years). The first Oregon Freight Plan was adopted by ODOT in 2011. The most recent update to the Oregon Freight Plan was in 2017. Another update is required in 2022 and is currently underway.

The main goals of the 2022 Oregon Freight Plan update are to include the latest available economic and transportation network data, correct outdated operational analyses and inventories of existing facilities, and ensure plan compliance with all applicable federal regulations. A more significant policy revision of the freight plan will occur after adoption of the Oregon Transportation Plan and Oregon Highway Plan, which are currently in the process of being updated by ODOT.

The draft Freight Plan and its associated appendices are now available for public review. ODOT is accepting written public comment on the draft plan until January 30, 2023.

  • Interested parties may provide written comment using the web form prior to the close of the comment period.
  • There will also be an opportunity to provide testimony at a virtual public hearing on January 9, 2023 at 2:00pm. Interested parties are asked to sign up via the web form prior to 10:00am that day.

Oregon Freight Plan Update 2022 Documents are available here. I would draw your attention to the DRAFT Oregon Freight Plan Appendices, particularly Appendix I – Non-Highway Inventories of Need. This table includes a list of port projects. If you pursue federal grant opportunities in the future, it is very helpful to be able to cite your project in a statewide plan like the Oregon Freight Plan. I encourage you to check this list and make sure your freight-related projects are accurately reflected in this plan update.

NOAA Fisheries Strategic Plan NOAA Fisheries released its Strategic Plan for 2022-2025, which sets out the agency’s strategic goals and key strategies and informs the public about NOAA Fisheries’ work.

The goals of this plan are focused on key statutes and the priorities of the Biden Administration, including:

  • Building a climate-ready nation, including resilient fisheries and coastal communities
  • Ensuring the sustainability and competitiveness of U.S. fishing and seafood industries
  • Recovering and protecting marine species
  • Continuing to build a mission-oriented, diverse workforce and to promote equity and environmental justice
Water Resources Development Act of 2022 The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), typically considered by Congress every two years, is legislation that authorizes U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) civil works activities. WRDA provisions generally add to or amend existing USACE authorizations and provide policy direction to the agency.

The Conference version of WRDA of 2022 passed the House as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2022 on December 8th. The Senate passed the NDAA (and WRDA) on December 15th. The bill now heads to the President Biden, who is expected to sign the bill into law. Click here to see a section by section summary of the legislation.

Federal Appropriations Update Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) from December 16th to December 23rd as negotiations continued over FY23 spending levels. The draft FY23 omnibus appropriations package was released December 20th. The Senate passed the measure December 22nd by a bipartisan vote of 68-29. The House is expected to take up the bill today, December 23rd. The spending bill includes funding for 145 Congressionally Directed Spending projects in Oregon.

Last month, House Republicans who won control of the Chamber in the November elections voted to keep Congressionally Directing Spending (Senate) and Community Project Funding (House). That means the process will take place for at least another two years during the 118th Congress.

The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) compiled a memo of all House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee accounts that are open to Congressionally Directed Spending and Community Project Funding requests. The memo includes data analysis and project examples for each account. Both chambers will release new guidance as the FY24 appropriations cycle starts in earnest sometime in late February or early March. Congress may add or remove accounts from the process, but the memo provides a good starting point for learning more about these funding opportunities. The memo is available here.



FY23 RAISE Grant Program The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has published the FY23 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for $1.5 billion in grant funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program for 2023. The grant program was previously known as BUILD and TIGER.

The RAISE program provides funding for surface transportation infrastructure projects that will improve: safety; environmental sustainability; quality of life; mobility and community connectivity; economic competitiveness and opportunity including tourism; state of good repair; partnership and collaboration; and innovation. Port districts are eligible applicants. The minimum RAISE grant award is $5 million in urban areas and $1 million in rural areas. Grants may not be greater than $25 million. At least $75 million will be awarded for planning, preparation or design of projects eligible for RAISE grants. Federal cost share may not exceed 80 percent unless the project is located in a rural area, a historically disadvantaged community or an area of persistent poverty (as defined in the NOFO). Applications are due by 11:59:59 PM Eastern on February 28, 2023.

There is much more information in the NOFO linked above. If you are interested in applying to the RAISE grant opportunity for FY23, please reach out if Business Oregon can be of assistance. We’d be happy to provide more background on the program, help you assess your readiness to submit an application, connect you to federal agency staff and/or Congressional staff who can provide additional assistance, etc.

Oregon Zero-Emission Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has opened the application period for the new Oregon Zero-Emission Fueling Infrastructure grant program. Individuals, businesses and public agencies are invited to apply for financial assistance from DEQ’s one-time $15 million program to support installation of new charging facilities for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks, buses and equipment.

The due date for the initial review period is January 15, 2023. Applications submitted after that date will be reviewed on a rolling monthly basis until all program funding has been spent. More information is available here.

Merchants Exchange Scholarship Fund The mission of the Merchants Exchange Scholarship Fund is to support the educational goals of students seeking or advancing careers in Maritime Affairs and/or International Trade. Applications are open to students at 2-year and 4-year programs, graduate programs and programs approved by the U.S. Coast Guard

Click here for more information and to find the 2023 scholarship application.

Oregon Public Ports Federal Coordinating Committee (OPPFCC)
  The OPPFCC did not meet in December due to the Christmas holiday.

Please reach out to Courtney Flathers, Ports Program Policy Coordinator, if you are interested in participating in the Oregon Public Ports Federal Coordinating Committee in 2023.

Oregon Public Ports Dredging Partnership (OPPDP)
  The OPPDP met on December 14, 2022. The group reviewed the draft “5-Year Marina Dredging Outlook,” a document that will be used to identify Oregon ports preparing to complete marina dredging projects in the next five years. This list serves two purposes: 1) identify ports that may be interested in pursuing use of the state dredge; and 2) identify ports that may be interested in pursuing Harbor Maintenance Trust (HMT) funds through USACE for up to 75 percent of the cost of the dredging project. If you have a marina dredging need in the next five years, please reach out to Business Oregon to make sure your project is on this list.

OPPDP also discussed implementation of the 2020 WRDA marina dredging provision that allows for the use of HMT funds for marina dredging. Please note, implementation of this provision is ongoing, and we expect accessing these funds to be a highly competitive national process. The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay provided an update on the completion of the 2022-2023 annual dredging project during the meeting.

OPPDP will continue to meet monthly in 2023.

Oregon Public Ports Training Program (OPPTP)
  The final Maritime Minds roundtable discussion of 2022 was held on December 13th. Business Oregon and MARAD were grateful to be joined by Lynn Mattes of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife who provided a recap of commercial and recreational fishing activity at coastal ports and Bekah Brinkmeier of Merchants Exchange who shared a summary of Columbia River Vessel traffic over the past year.

Catherine Simons (MARAD) also highlighted the RAISE Grant NOFO (more information in the “Resources” section above) that was issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation on December 14, 2022.

Keep an eye out for a calendar invitation for 2023’s Maritime Minds quarterly discussions.

Stories of Interest
Delay continues for ocean commercial Dungeness crab season The ocean commercial Dungeness crab season remains closed until at least January 15, 2023. A third round of pre-season testing shows crabs remain too low in meat yield on the southern and northern coasts. Elevated domoic acid is still detected in some crab viscera (guts). Addition crab meat yield and biotoxin testing will occur in the coming weeks to help determine when they season can open.

Oregon’s ocean commercial Dungeness crab season is typically targeted to open December 1st. The season can be delayed so consumers get a high-quality product and crabs are not wasted. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife tests crabs out of Oregon’s six major crabbing ports in partnership with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the commercial Dungeness crab industry.

In Oregon, commercial Dungeness crab landings from the ocean and Columbia River have averaged 18.4 million pounds per season with an average ex-vessel value of $49.7 million over the last twenty years. The 2004-2005 season saw a record high of over 33.5 million pounds of crab landed and the 2021-2022 season saw a record high of over $91.5 million ex-vessel value.

Ports Programming
Port Planning and Marketing Fund (PPMF) More information can be found in the Port Planning and Marketing Fund Guide distributed in July 2022. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or your Regional Development Officer if you have questions.

Current fund balance as of December 2022: $102,000

Oregon Port Revolving Fund (OPRF) More information can be found in the Oregon Port Revolving Fund Guide distributed in July 2022. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or your Regional Development Officer if you have questions.

Current fund balance as of December 2022: $2.7 million

Save the Date
January & February 2023 January 13th – Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO) Legislative Day

January 17th – First day of the 2023 Oregon Legislative Session

January 19th – PNWA Monthly Membership Meeting

January 20th – Oregon Public Ports Federal Coordinating Committee

January 25th – Oregon Public Ports Dredging Partnership

February 9th-12thSDAO Annual Conference