The pandemic taught a great many of us that we can do our jobs from home. What we continue to learn is, it is ultimately very helpful to get out of your chairs and go see the results your efforts have produced.
Regulatory Division’s California Delta Section for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District recently took that idea to heart and headed outside for a field trip to one of their key Regulatory customers, the Port of Stockton.
“With our district transitioning to a new Regulatory primary point of contact for the Port, it seemed like a good opportunity to consider taking the nine-person CA Delta Section team on a field trip,” said CA Delta Section’s Chief Mary Pakenham-Walsh.
The Port was all for us coming down and meeting with them. It was the perfect opportunity to meet with our customer, discuss roles and expectations, and allow the team a chance to get out and see the projects that they work on, said Pakenham-Walsh.
“In discussing the point of contact transition with the Port, we told them we would like to bring the team out to look at past, present and future Regulatory projects at the site, as well as getting some face-time with one of our long-term Water Resources Development Act customers,” said Senior Project Manager Erin Campbell.
Campbell has been working with the Port for almost two years as their primary USACE Regulatory point of contact.
Albeit focused on Regulatory permit actions, the working relationship between Sacramento’s Regulatory Division and the Port of Stockton has long been collaborative in spirit.
“We have worked together for many years in support of the Port’s projects, most prominently, regularly required maintenance dredging of the Port’s 17 docks,” said Pakenham-Walsh.
Besides the dredging, recent and upcoming projects on USACE’s permitting radar include:
- Repairs and fender replacement of the Port’s Docks 7 and 8 along the Stockton Deep Water Ship Channel. The project was authorized under a non-reporting Nationwide Permit in spring 2022.
- An old, wooden dock utilized by the Port Police was replaced by a new floating dock with two boat lift systems and ADA-compliant gangway The project was authorized by USACE in May 2022.
- A railroad bridge on Port property will be part of an upcoming permit application as the Port looks to upgrade its railroad infrastructure – which is currently the Port’s biggest constraint to business expansion
While the California Delta Section enjoyed the opportunity to see the results of their efforts, the team at the Port of Stockton also enjoyed having an audience to show their work to. The field trip included the Port team proudly showing off many of their unique projects, and explaining the multifaceted, complex nature of their operations, community partnerships and environmental programs.
From offloading ships filled with everything from cement to rice to proudly pointing out their fleet of “green” forklifts and their homemade Barn Owl nest boxes, it was clear the field trip was a show-and-tell for both organizations.
And by the way, Barn Owls at the Port of Stockton are completely relevant to the Sacramento District’s mission. Why? Because the Port is using them as a pesticide-free method to maintain the levees! Bonus material: You can learn more about Barn Owls and even check out the Port’s Barn Owl Cams here: Barn Owl Cams - Live Video of Owls at the Port of Stockton
“Overall, the trip was a great way to meet with one of our key customers, while giving members of the Regulatory team a chance to see how the work they do behind the scenes has a very real effect in the public realm,” said Pakenham-Walsh. “Plus, it was pretty amazing, post-pandemic, to finally get together and meet face-to-face.”