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Community Action Roadmap: Empowering Near-Port Communities

Link to Home page of Community Action Roadmap    Link to Overview of Community Action Roadmap     Link to Step 1 Prioritize Goals and Concerns     Link to Step 2 Identify Levers for Change     Link to Step 3 Build Relationships     Link to Step 4 Develop an Action Plan     Link to Step 5 Make Your Case     Link to Step 6 Build Momentum for Change     Link to Resources in Community Action Roadmap

The Community Action Roadmap: Empowering Near-port Communities (Community Action Roadmap) provides a step-by-step guide to help near-port communities effectively engage in port decisions that may impact local land use, environmental health and quality of life. This Community Action Roadmap supplements the companion document, A Ports Primer for Communities (Ports Primer). The Ports Primer for Communities provides an overview of ports planning and operations, potential benefits and impacts of ports operations, successful community strategies, and links to additional resources.


Formats - Community Action Roadmap

The Community Action Roadmap is available as a PDF document that can be downloaded (see link below), and viewed on these webpages in HTML format by selecting the icons in the navigation bar at the top of each page to navigate between sections (from Step 2 to Step 3, for example).  Additionally, the links at the bottom of each page can be used to move between sub-sections (such as advancing from Step 4 to Step 5).  We have madeImage of the cover page of the Community Action RoadmapCommunity Action Roadmap (PDF)(20 pp, 553 K, December 2019, EPA-420-B-19-039) identical Community Action Roadmap content available in both formats to maximize accessibility to as many stakeholders as possible. The PDF document is portable with the ability to access content offline while the webpages are available online. Both formats can be printed. There are some slight differences with how information is organized in the webpages, but the content is not altered. Links throughout both formats of the Community Action Roadmap allow users to access additional online resources. 



Check the Ports Primer for Communities

The Ports Primer for Communities is available in a web version as well as a downloadable Ports Primer for Communities (PDF) (58 pp, 8 MB, March 2020,
EPA-420-B-20-013, About PDF)

Additionally, throughout the Community Action Roadmap pages there will be links to relevant sections of the Ports Primer listed as Check Your Ports Primer.

Ports can benefit near-by communities by providing jobs, infrastructure and resources to support community amenities. However, ports activities can also impact near-by communities with noise, air, and water pollution, traffic related to transport, loading, and related industrial land uses. Near-port communities, which are often low income and/or communities of color, bear a disproportionate burden from these impacts, including reduced health, while not sharing proportionally in growth in prosperity.

According to EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, environmental justice “will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn and work.” 

Together, the Ports Primer for Communities and Community Action Roadmap offer information and tools to empower local community members and leaders to improve their local quality of life. Each step in the Community Action Roadmap process is designed to build community capacity to prioritize goals, identify opportunities for influence, build partnerships, develop an action plan, make a persuasive case, and build momentum for change. 

Learn how this tool and other capacity building tools are being used on pilot projects.

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Getting to Know Your Port

Before embarking on your community action, take the time to learn more about port facilities. Understanding some basic information about how your port authority is structured will help target your efforts more effectively. Sections 2 and 3 of the Ports Primer for Communities provide an overview of the role of ports, port operations and port governance. 

After reviewing Sections 2 and 3, test your knowledge of your local port. Below are a few questions to guide your review (also see worksheets in Try it Out box):

  • What is the difference between a port and a port authority?
  • What is the name of your port authority? Can you locate their main office and website?
  • Is your port authority an operational port or a landlord port? If landlord, what type of business?
  • What is the governing structure of your port authority?
  • What are some of the federal, state and local agencies that regulate port activities?

Acknowledgements and Credits

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