Mayor Jennifer Gregerson, City Council President Bob Champion, Councilmembers Christine Cook, Richard Emery, Randy Lord, and Scott Whelpley visited Washington, D.C. for the National League of Cities annual conference in early March and to advocate for NOAA’s Northwest Marine Fisheries Science Center in Mukilteo with the Snohomish County Congressional delegation.
“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. This new facility will ensure our region has an improved opportunity to understand the valuable work done by NOAA NWFSC.”
Mayor Gregerson, Council President Bob Champion, and Councilmembers Christine Cook, Richard Emery, Randy Lord and Scott Whelpley met with senior aides of Senators Patty Murray, Senator Maria Cantwell, and U.S. Representative Rick Larsen. In addition, the Mukilteo delegation met with U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene and NOAA administrators to discuss promoting the reconstruction of the Mukilteo Research Station in the 2018 federal budget. At issue is not only the future specialized research at this facility, but the loss of 28 jobs and tourism dollars that Mukilteo depends on.
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 a wide range of sensitive and critical studies on marine resources and their habitats
- Specialized laboratories to safely support the most efficient and most cost-effective scientific work
- Long-term support for 28 scientific and support staff at Mukilteo – a new laboratory is necessary to maintain NOAA presence beyond 2020