Earlier this month, Washington rolled out a comprehensive plan called Washington Maritime Blue that aims to boost economic growth, jobs, and ocean health.
The plan is diverse in its approach to the goals: It looks at ways we can incorporate clean technology into our ports, use sustainable fishing practices, and design more innovative vessels.
Worldwide, countries like Norway and Singapore are focusing on building a “blue economy,” or a process of economic growth that depends on a sustainable use of ocean resources. Washington state, which already has a strong maritime industry that leads in environmental performance, is the first U.S. state to join international maritime clusters in implementing these approaches.
“I congratulate and thank everyone who has been part of the vision and commitment to implementing Washington Maritime Blue,” Gov. Jay Inslee said earlier this month in a statement. “I am proud that Washington is among those charting the course to ocean health and sustainable maritime practices. The transition is happening now in our state.”
The five core goals of Washington Maritime Blue are: 1) to shift toward a thriving, low-carbon industry; 2) to become a global innovation hub; 3) to grow gateways (waterfronts); 4) to support a 21st century workforce; and 5) to a establish a world-class maritime cluster.
“Creating a more efficient, more competitive, more collaborative and cleaner maritime industry will mean green jobs, better air quality in our communities, and a healthier climate,” Dennis McLerran of Cascadia Law Group said.
Projects to reach this goal include electrifying ferries to reduce air and noise emissions and guiding young people into maritime careers through the Youth Maritime Collaborative.
Washington Maritime Blue plans to gradually transform the state’s maritime industry over the next 30 years, aiming to make it a world-class example of environmental sustainability by 2050.