Mayor Jennifer Gregerson, City Council President Richard Emery, and Councilmembers Bob Champion, Elisabeth Crawford, Riaz Khan, and Joe Marine will visit Washington, D.C. next week (March 8 – 11, 2020) for the National League of Cities annual conference to learn, share and advocate for NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Mukilteo and the waterfront.
“The Mukilteo Research Station, also known as the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) on our waterfront, has been at the forefront of fisheries research in Puget Sound for over 40 years,” said Mayor Jennifer Gregerson. “Sadly, the current field station is housed in old military barracks that are more than 60 years old, preventing NOAA from initiating critical studies on marine fish, shellfish and their habitats. We want to ensure that funding for this new facility stays on track so our region has an opportunity to learn about the valuable work done by NOAA NWFSC.”
Mayor Gregerson and Councilmembers will also attend the National League of Cities Conference to gain better understanding of federal issues and best practices for Cities. They will meet with Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and U.S. Representative Rick Larsen. In addition, the Mukilteo delegation will meet with NOAA Chief Administrative Officer Dierdre Jones to discuss promoting the reconstruction of the Mukilteo Research Station in the federal budget. Congress appropriated $35.5M to complete construction. At issue is not only the future specialized research at this facility, but the loss of 28 jobs and tourism dollars that Mukilteo benefits from.
Features of the new facility will include:
• Improved public education space for science communication, public engagement and student education
• Prominent location which makes it an integral part of the revitalized Mukilteo waterfront, helping to spur tourism in downtown Mukilteo
• Access to large volumes of high quality seawater to support sensitive and critical studies on marine fish, shellfish and their habitats
• Specialized state-of-the-art laboratories to support cost-effective and safe scientific work
• Long-term support for 28 scientific and support staff at Mukilteo – a new laboratory is necessary to maintain NOAA presence beyond 2020