Value of Port Districts
The Port of Bellingham was created in September of 1920 at the urging of local business owners and residents; however, the ruling to keep navigable waters and harbors open for public use through port districts and commissioners was created by the State of Washington as a constitutional article in 1889.
Washington State Constitution
The 15th article of the Washington State Constitution
prohibits the state from giving any private person, corporation, or association sole proprietary rights to navigable harbors and waters, ensuring that the waterfront areas so important to transportation would be open for use by the public.
The goal was to prevent private ownership of transportation entry points, such as deep-water areas and airports so that they would remain open to all people.
Next: Early History of the Area