Washington State’s ports provide diverse economic development opportunities ranging from recreational fishing piers and marinas, airports, industrial parks, to international shipping terminals. Regardless of port’s physical size or function, each and every port was created by the same process as directed by the Revised Code of Washington (RCW).
This process was first established in 1911 granting local citizens the ability to create and manage public port districts for the movements of goods and cargo. With the legislation enacted, citizens could then elect commissioners to administer their port districts and oversee development and operations. This process made Washington state ports public, thereby elevating each port’s accountability to the people it serves and endowing each district with the expectation that it become an economic driver in its community and region.