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Northwest Straits Commission wins additional federal funding

The Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative, which includes in its auspices the Island County Marine Resources Committee, will receive $950,000 in congressional funding for 2002 — an increase of $200,000 from last year.

“I’m just totally delighted,” said Don Meehan, Island County MRC’s financial officer. “It’s a real good thing for us.”

Senator Patty Murray, who along with former Congressman Jack Metcalf first sponsored the initiative in 1998, said that she is pleased that Congress has increased funding to the commission.

“This highly successful, locally driven environmental initiative deserves more federal support,” she said.

“The commission is doing outstanding work,” Murray added. “Its members are creating marine protected areas, assessing fish habitats, sponsoring research and increasing environmental awareness. This funding increase will allow an even more aggressive effort to protect this fragile ecosystem.”

Island County’s MRC is set up to draw input about marine habitat conservation from local governments, tribes, conservationists, scientists and businesses.

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