Port operations may affect the marine environment in the port or the waters and coastline close by. The Port Environmental Manager makes sure that research of the port and surrounding area is carried out on a regular basis to identify and list all the marine animals and plants living in the area. Regular checks are made to make sure the marine life is not being harmed by port operations. If it is, the port must take quick action to remove this threat.
Trucks moving in and out of ports can add to already congested roads. Expensive road improvements are often made to reduce these problems. The trucks also contribute to noise pollution. Homes are not usually built close to Australian ports, but if they are, they could be affected by the noise made from the port's operation.
Each port can have its own problems. Some might prevent people from swimming or fishing. Others may make it difficult to have roads going on the most sensible route. They may prevent the expansion of housing. Some ports that must handle smelly cargoes must treat the cargo to remove the smell.
Some ports are reducing the visual impact of their operations by creating a green corridor. One such example is the Port of Townsville which has built an environmental park between the port and nearby houses. The park resembles a coastal dune system with thousands of plants and trees. For more information click here.
There are some ports that need a clean up and to follow the example of the Port of Townsville.
As our population grows we need more goods. More or larger ships are needed to carry the extra goods we use. As ships get larger and bring more containers, some ports will need to get bigger too. This can lead to expanding the port into adjacent land or reclaiming land from the sea. These activities are closely monitored by environmental protection authorities to make sure no harm is caused to the marine environment.