Washington State Department News

23 Oct 2019

Washington Gets Funds for Green Ferries

Image: WSDOT

Washington State Ferries will begin the process of converting three Jumbo Mark II vessels from diesel to hybrid-electric power.The government agency that operates automobile and passenger ferry service in the U.S. state of Washington as part of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announced Tuesday the state will receive $35 million from the federal Volkswagen settlement to retrofit the Tacoma, Wenatchee and Puyallup.The ferry system is the largest consumer of diesel fuel in the state with over 18 million gallons of diesel burned each year…

16 Oct 2019

New Hybrid-Electric Ferry Program for WSF

Photo courtesy of Vigor

Dignitaries from the state of Washington joined Governor Jay Inslee, Washington State Ferries officials and Vigor employees at Vigor’s Seattle shipyard to celebrate the beginning of the greening of WSF’s fleet. Speakers included Governor Inslee, Roger Millar, Secretary of Transportation for Washington State Department of Transportation, and Vigor CEO Frank Foti. The ceremony concluded with a dedication of a sign marking the construction site of the Program.Earlier in the year Washington’s legislature authorized a contract extension for Vigor to build up to five 144-car Olympic class…

26 Sep 2019

Armstrong Delivers Dive Boat to DNR

Photo: Maddie Hunt/Armstrong Marine

A new monohull dive compliance vessel Salish Scout was recently accepted by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) after successful launch and sea trials in Port Angeles Harbor.In a competitive solicitation process last year, DNR selected Armstrong Marine’s proposal to design and build multiple vessels for their Marine Law Enforcement program. Salish Scout is a sister ship to the vessel Sentry, completed earlier this summer.Salish Scout is customized for efficient geoduck fishery management along with other marine law enforcement operations.

10 Sep 2019

WSF, Vigor Launch Hybrid-Electric Ferry Build Program

Vigor Industrial and Washington State Ferries launched WSF’s new hybrid-electric ferries program in a ceremony held at Vigor’s Seattle, Washington shipyard held September 9. (Photo: Vigor Industrial LLC)

Dignitaries from the State of Washington joined Governor Jay Inslee, Washington State Ferries officials and Vigor Industrial employees yesterday (September 9) at Vigor’s Seattle, Washington shipyard to celebrate the launch of a new hybrid-electric ferry build program for the ferry operator. Speakers included Washington State Governor Jay Inslee; Roger Millar, Secretary of Transportation for Washington State Department of Transportation; and Vigor’s CEO, Frank Foti. The ceremony concluded with a dedication of a sign marking program’s construction site.Earlier this year…

31 Jul 2019

CG Responds to Sunken Tug in WA Marina

Photo: USCG

Coast Guard pollution responders are responding to a report of a tug that sank at the Port Orchard Railway Marina in Port Townsend, Washington, Monday.Members from Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound's Incident Management Division are on scene overseeing the removal and containment of fuel discharged from the 65-foot tug Meagan M. The vessel is currently registered as a towing vessel; however the master claims it has been used in a strictly recreational capacity for the past two years.

12 Jun 2019

Armstrong Delivers Dive Compliance Vessel

Photo: Armstrong Marine

The 38 x 13-ft. monohull dive compliance vessel Sentry was recently accepted by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) after successful launch and sea trials in Port Angeles Harbor. In a competitive solicitation process last year, DNR selected Armstrong Marine’s proposal to design and build multiple vessels for their Marine Law Enforcement program.Sentry is customized for efficient geoduck fishery management along with other marine law enforcement operations. A 4-ft.

11 Jan 2019

DNV GL, Washington State Partner for Sustainable Maritime Growth

Photo courtesy of DNV GL

Washington State partnered with DNV GL in late 2017 to develop the “Washington Maritime Blue” strategy for the sustainable development of the state’s $38 billion maritime industry. With that strategy now complete, the State unveils how it plans to achieve the vision of being home to a world-class, thriving, and sustainable maritime industry by 2050.At an event in Seattle, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee’s Maritime Innovation Advisory Council unveiled the results of their…

02 Feb 2018

Washington State, DNV GL Partner on Maritime Sector Growth

© Bill Perry / Adobe Stock

DNV GL will support Washington State as it advances its strategy for the sustainable development of the state’s $38 billion maritime industry. In December 2017, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee’s Maritime Innovation Advisory Council launched an effort called “Washington Maritime Blue” to develop a comprehensive strategy for leading the nation in “blue” ocean industry technology and practices. Classification society and advisor to the maritime industry DNV GL said it has signed on to support the Washington State Department of Commerce to help achieve this vision.

05 Jan 2018

Washington State Christens New Ferry Suquamish

Washington State’s new ferry Squamish was christened at Vigor's Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle, on January 4. (Photo: WSDOT)

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) christened Suquamish, its fourth Olympic Class auto/passenger ferry, to serve passengers on the Mukilteo/Clinton route beginning in 2019. The christening ceremony was held at Vigor's Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle, where the new 144-car ferry has entered the final stages of construction and preparation ahead of sea trials starting in mid-2018. In addition to summer operations on the Mukilteo/Clinton route, the new ferry will also serve as a maintenance relief vessel in the winter, filling in when other vessels are out of service.

03 Jan 2018

Washington State Sued for Blocking Coal Exports to Asia

© Unkas Photo / Adobe Stock

A company that planned to build a coal export terminal in the Pacific Northwest to ship western U.S. coal to Asian markets sued the state of Washington on Wednesday for blocking construction last year. Lighthouse Resources Inc filed a lawsuit in federal court against Washington Governor Jay Inslee and two state regulators for allegedly violating the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause by denying permits to allow the company to ship coal mined in Wyoming, Montana and other western states through its proposed Millennium Bulk Terminal to clients in Japan and South Korea.

21 Apr 2017

Washington Maritime Economy Grows Stronger -Study

© Bill Perry / Adobe Stock

A new report from the Washington Maritime Federation shows strong health of industry, increased average salaries and tremendous opportunity to continue to grow maritime jobs. The Washington State Maritime Sector Economic Impact Study 2017 Update, released at the April 2017 Propeller Club luncheon, updates the seminal 2013 study of the same name and provides a detailed analysis of the positive economic impact of the state’s maritime industry. “This study builds upon past efforts and clearly shows the maritime industry is a cornerstone of the State’s economy…

24 Mar 2017

WSF’s M/V Kaleetan on Board with Sherwin-Williams

(Photo: Sherwin-Williams)

A total of 5,300 gallons of Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings ensures that one of Washington’s most valuable assets will provide service for years to come. With a longstanding history of ferry operation in the Puget Sound, Washington State Ferries (WSF) was in need of a coatings company with just as strong of a reputation when preserving the 3,634-ton M/V Kaleetan auto/passenger ferry in the summer of 2015. Built in 1967 in San Diego, Calif., the M/V Kaleetan – which means “arrow” in Chinook – first went into service in early 1968 and was rebuilt in 2005.

05 Dec 2016

WSF Leader to Retire

Lynne Griffith joined the Washington State Department of Transportation as assistant secretary for the ferries division in September 2014. Today, she announced that she will retire from public service at the end of January. Ferries division Chief of Staff Elizabeth Kosa, who has served alongside Griffith, will act as Washington State Ferries’ leader while the department finalizes its next steps. During Griffith’s time at the helm of the nation’s largest ferry system, missed sailings due to lack of crew dropped nearly 70 percent over the previous 26-month period. She also secured funding for a forth 144 car Olympic Class ferry, the Suquamish, and built a new high-performing management team from the ground up.

14 Sep 2016

WSDOT Christens New Ferry Chimacum

WSF’s third Olympic Class vessel, M/V Chimacum, will will replace an older vessel on the Seattle/Bremerton route in 2017. (Photo: WSDOT)

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) christened Chimacum, the third Olympic Class vessel to join the Washington State Ferries (WSF) fleet. The ceremony took place at Vigor's Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle, and marked the vessel’s final stage of construction and its preparation for sea trials. In a traditional maritime ceremony, Washington State Ferries Assistant Secretary Lynne Griffith broke a bottle of champagne to officially welcome the new ferry to the fleet. Gov.

11 May 2016

Keel Laid for Washington's New Ferry Suquamish

Suquamish Keel Laying Photo WSDOT

The Washington State Department of Transportation continues to grow its Olympic Class ferry fleet with a keel laying ceremony marking the beginning of construction of its newest vessel, Suquamish. On Tuesday, May 10, Gov. Jay Inslee, state Sen. Christine Rolfes, and Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman struck ceremonial welds on the keel of the Suquamish, at Vigor’s Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle. Inslee welded his granddaughter’s initials, Rolfes, an orca whale, and Forsman, a circle with a dot, the ancient design element found at “Old Man House” in the early Suquamish winter village.

07 Dec 2015

USCG Responds to Pollution from Sunken Vessel

The 67-foot commercial fishing vessel Persistence floats at Westhaven Marina in Westport, Wash., after sinking at its pier and releasing a potential 250 gallons of diesel and 15 gallons of oil Dec. 6, 2015. Photo USCG

Coast Guard, National Response Center and Washington State Department of Ecology personnel responded to oil pollution from a sunken 67-foot commercial vessel at Westhaven Marina near Grays Harbor, Wash., Sunday. Responders from the Coast Guard Incident Management Division in Astoria will arrive on scene Monday morning and will be working with partner agencies to monitor the situation and oversee the cleanup. After receiving a report of a possible sinking vessel at Westhaven Marina at approximately 12:40 p.m.…

13 Jul 2015

Seattle, Tacoma Ports Welcome State Transport Investment

Photo: Port of Tacoma

Washington State Legislature’s passed a $16.2 billion transportation investment package that ports of Tacoma and Seattle say will benefit the state’s economy by speeding the movement of cargo through the ports and freight corridors. The ports, business and community leaders have been advocating for funding to complete the key freight routes of State Route 509 in King County and State Route 167 in Pierce County, which are supported in the package. “The transportation system outside our terminal gates is critical to maintaining our competitive edge…

06 Apr 2015

SR 410 White River Bridge in Enumclaw Closed

White River Bridge damaged beam

The Washington State Department of Transportation has temporarily closed the State Route 410 White River Bridge after crews discovered damage to the bridge’s overhead support structure during a routine inspection early Saturday morning. The SR 410 White River Bridge has an arched steel overhead support structure, which is signed for 15 feet. The bridge strike occurred in the westbound lanes of the bridge. Low clearance warning signs are posted along the shoulder approaching the bridge.

19 Sep 2014

USCG Cutter in Oregon Spill Drill

Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Bellone (yellow hat), a boatswain's mate aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Fir, a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Astoria, Ore., observes the buoy deck as the 60-foot-long Fast Sweep Boom is ra

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Fir, a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Astoria, Oregon, participated in a Spilled Oil Response System exercise near Blake Island, Washington, Wednesday. The exercise was part of an annual response exercise and included members of the Coast Guard 13th District Response Advisor Team, Pacific Strike Team out of Novato, California, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Washington State Department of Ecology, Harley Marine Service Inc., Navy Region Northwest, Washington State Ferries, and the Marine Spill Response Corporation.

14 Sep 2014

USCG Respond to Grounded Vessel near Pleasant Harbor, Washington

The Coast Guard and Washington State Department of Ecology responded to a report of a 65-foot pleasure craft that ran aground near Pleasant Harbor in Brinnon, Wash., Sept. 14, 2014.  It was reported that there is the potential for up to 500 gallons of diesel fuel to be aboard the vessel and an unrecoverable sheen was reported on the water.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound Incident Management Division.

The Coast Guard and Washington State Department of Ecology are responding to a report a of 65-foot pleasure craft aground near Pleasant Harbor in Brinnon, Washington, Sunday morning. There is reportedly up to 500 gallons of diesel fuel aboard the vessel and an unrecoverable sheen was reported to be visible on the water. Responders are working with the owner to deploy containment boom around the vessel and develop plans to remove the fuel aboard. Jefferson County dispatch notified…

03 Sep 2014

Oil Spill Response in Seattle's Salmon Bay

Seattle's Salmon Bay

The U.S. Coast Guard and Washington State Department of Ecology continue to oversee the cleanup and investigate the cause of an oil spill that appeared earlier this week in the Ballard Mill Marina, on Salmon Bay, along the Lake Washington Ship Canal. The Coast Guard and Ecology received reports Monday morning of oil, accompanied by strong petroleum odors in the waters. No one has come forward to take responsibility for the spill, and the Coast Guard has utilized the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to hire Global Diving and Salvage to conduct the cleanup.

28 Aug 2014

Federal Officials Approve Plans to Replace Mukilteo Terminal

Existing Mukilteo Ferry Terminal (Photo courtesy of Washington State Dept of Transportation)

The 60-year-old Mukilteo Ferry Terminal is one step closer to replacement. On Friday, Aug. 22 the Federal Transit Administration signed a record of decision allowing the Washington State Department of Transportation Ferries Division to design and construct a new ferry terminal in Mukilteo, Wash. The Mukilteo terminal is one of the state’s busiest terminals, serving nearly 4 million passengers last year. However, the terminal is vulnerable to earthquakes and in need of major repairs to continue safe, reliable ferry service between Mukilteo and Clinton.

09 Jun 2014

NOAA Data Reveals Weight of Ocean and Great Lakes Economy

Credit: NOAA

In 2011, the U.S. ocean and Great Lakes economy produced $282 billion in goods and services and employed 2.2 percent of the nation’s workers—that’s more than twice the percentage of workers in the U.S. agriculture industry. This fact and many others are featured in a 2011 data summary from Economics: National Ocean Watch (ENOW), a product of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center. County-level facts, charts and maps highlighting the 2011 data findings are found on the “Ocean Jobs” and “Wetland Benefits” tabs of the Coastal County Snapshots tool.

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