Rep. Norma Smith invites Washingtonians to event celebrating the removal of nearly 6,000 derelict fishing nets from the Puget Sound

Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, invites Washingtonians to join her this Thursday as the Northwest Straits Initiative celebrates the removal of more than 5,600 derelict fishing nets from Puget Sound’s shallow subtidal waters. The removal of these nets has permanently restored more than 800 acres of marine habitat and saved thousands of marine animals from entanglement. Below are the event details.

What: Derelict Net Removal Celebration
When: Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.
Where: Port of Everett’s Box Car Park
RSVP to Heidi Lehman at (360) 733-1725;

In 1997, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, D-Washington, and then-U.S. Representative Jack Metcalf, R-Washington, established the Murray-Metcalf Commission to explore innovative ways to protect and restore marine resources in the Northwest Straits. After a year of research and discussion, the Murray-Metcalf Commission published a report that laid the groundwork for what was to become the Northwest Straits Initiative, which was authorized by Congress in 1998. Removal of derelict fishing gear began in 2002.

“Congressman Metcalf and Senator Murray cast the vision that if communities worked together, we could address the challenges facing the Puget Sound,” said Smith. “I join so many others in expressing gratitude for their bipartisan and lasting leadership that has made a generational difference. The accomplishment of the Northwest Straits Initiative in removing more than 5,600 derelict fishing nets from the Puget Sound demonstrates how much we can accomplish when we work together across the aisle and across the Sound.”

The work of the Initiative has been supported by dozens of organizations and thousands of individuals in the years since its creation. In 2013, Rep. Smith successfully led the effort to secure the final $3.5 million in funds that were needed to complete the removal of the nets from the Puget Sound.

Rep. Smith was involved at the inception of the Northwest Straits Initiative,” said Joan Drinkwin, Interim Director of the Northwest Straits Foundation. “She understands the importance of ensuring local decision-making as we solve the myriad of problems facing Puget Sound. Her efforts to galvanize funding for the final push to remove shallow water derelict nets from Puget Sound is just one more example of her commitment to leave the Sound better than she found it.”


Washington State House Republican Communications