(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced $200,000 in federal funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the Northwest Straits Commission, following efforts to bring stakeholders together around the good work of the Commission. This federal funding will provide essential support for the Commission, help train volunteers, and support ongoing recovery efforts in the Northwest Straits marine ecosystem, including the launch of a regional kelp restoration effort. Senator Murray helped launch the innovative grassroots approach to marine protection in 1997 and has fought hard to secure funding for restoration efforts each year.
“The Northwest Straits Initiative is a highly successful grassroots conservation effort that has consistently produced excellent work to protect and restore the natural marine habitat of the Northwest Straits,” said Senator Murray. “That’s why I’m proud to continue fighting for federal support to ensure this work continues. This critical funding will bolster a proven model for marine habitat restoration and preserve delicate ecosystems for generations to come.”
“We’re happy to have NOAA as a partner as we engage residents with local marine resource issues and threats,” said Ginny Broadhurst, Director of the Northwest Straits Commission. “We’re grateful to Senator Murray for her continued support, and look forward to moving forward with projects to restore and protect the Northwest Straits region.”
In the late 1990s, amid growing concerns about the declining health of marine ecosystems in Northwest Washington, Senator Murray and Representative Jack Metcalf (R-WA-902) created the Northwest Straits Commission. The Commission focuses its work on the protection of marine resources in the northwest part of Washington from the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Northern Puget Sound to the Canadian border. This grassroots effort involves representatives from county, tribal, state, and federal governments, non-profit organizations and volunteers working together. The Commission provides science-based recommendations and coordination of support to help protect the overall health of the region’s marine ecosystem, and has made significant strides toward reducing derelict fishing gear in the region, among other ongoing projects.