Leaders from Coastal and Northwest Straits Marine Resource Committees (MRC’s) recently got together in Olympia for a forum with several key legislators to highlight some of their good work, and to discuss ways to collaborate more effectively as a unified voice for marine stewardship in Washington.

Senator Kevin Ranker addresses MRC leaders and thanks them for all of their great work.

Senator Kevin Ranker addresses MRC leaders and thanks them for all of their great work.

The forum was organized at hosted by staff of the Northwest Straits Commission, The Nature Conservancy of Washington, and Surfrider Foundation. This event was the first official time that leaders from Coastal and NW Straits MRC’s have gotten together for an event such as this to discuss common issues and ways to work together to tackle large marine challenges.

MRC Leaders were joined by several legislators, including Senators Kevin Ranker & Christine Rolfes, and Representatives Brian Blake & Dean Takko. The legislators listened to short presentations on work projects that Coastal and Straits MRC’s are focused on, and shared a few of their legislative priorities that affect marine resources this session.

After hearing from the legislators, MRC leaders discussed challenges that they are facing along their coastlines, and opportunities to work together moving forward. The forum provided strong recognition that ocean acidification, marine debris, funding and oil transportation are issues of common concern. We hope that this event will serve as a key starting point for on-going dialogue and future collaboration to address the many challenges that our marine ecosystems face in Washington.

Here is a great example of how the NW Straits MRC’s are addressing the challenge of Ocean Acidification.

NWSC fact sheet-2014_OA