Washington Governor Jay Inslee has put forth a bold goal to make the state home to the most sustainable maritime industry in the nation by the year 2050. Key to this vision is the Washington Maritime Blue Initiative, a plan developed by Governor Inslee’s Maritime Innovation Advisory Council.
The Blue Initiative looks to spur local technology innovation, create eco-friendly industry standards, and lead the shift to decarbonization. Living-wage jobs, increased workforce training, and best management practices are also key components to the initiative. A $500,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration Regional Innovation Strategies program made the initiative possible.
Also important to the success of the Blue Initiative is rallying the talents of leaders in research, business, and academia involved. Washington is already known as a trailblazer in green and local maritime practices, and the Blue Initiative plans to promote locally made marine elements from paints to hulls to batteries. Boosting partnership and collaboration between government, business, and scientists is part of the plan, and so is highlighting successes to rally support.
The advisory council will be co-chaired by Representative Gael Tarleton of the Washington State Legislature, Dennis McLerran of Cascadia Law Group and a former EPA Region 10 administrator, and Frank Foti of Vigor, a shipbuilding and industrial service provider. They and the other members of the board will be combining their shared experience to carry out the goals of the initiative, hopefully solidifying Washington as a leader in the so-called “blue economy” in years to come.