News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 2010. 

“For those of us who lived in the Pacific Northwest at the time, May 18, 1980 is a day we will never forget.  It was a day that changed so many lives and altered the landscape of Washington state forever.  It imposed a heavy toll in lost lives and lost habitat. And it taught us so many important lessons about science, habitat renewal, and the critical importance of preparation.

“As we mark this 30th anniversary, I want to pay tribute to the 57 men and women who died on that fateful day. Some were there to enjoy the area’s beautiful scenery. Some came to the mountain for scientific study. And others were long-time residents and members of the community who couldn’t bear to leave the only homes they had ever known.

“We honor their memory by learning from the eruption and improving our ability to predict and respond to natural disasters. And we pay them tribute by making sure Mount St. Helens continues to be an amazing resource to science and to the community.

“I was proud to spend some time recently hearing from the Mount St. Helens Citizen Advisory Committee about their efforts to develop a vision for the future of this important part of Washington state.  And I am truly thankful for the great work being done by the Forest Service, the Mount St. Helens Institute, and their many partners working to preserve the monument and help educate the public about the events of May 18, 1980 and its lessons for today. 

“Thirty years later we have learned a lot, and we have accomplished so much, but I know that many challenges remain. So I am committed to continuing to work with members of the local communities to make sure Mount St. Helens remains a great destination for tourists, an economic engine for the region, and a unique natural laboratory for scientific research and discovery.”