In this month in 1912, voters in Clark County, Wash., overwhelmingly approved the creation of a new public port district in Vancouver. It was just the third new port to be created in Washington as a result of The Port District Act of 1911, which sought to wrest control of the state’s waterfronts from private railroad companies. It’s an institution with a long and storied history, which makes what it did in 2016 all the more remarkable.

The port last week announced that nearly 7.5 million metric…