Posted by Pete DeLaunay

The day’s featured program speaker, Jen Steger, is Pacific Regional Manager for the NOAA Office of Habitat, Restoration Center, described her agency’s enhanced work over the next five years, from $3B funding provided by bi-partisan infrastructure legislation.  NOAA announced an estimate of $25M recommended for Washington fish passage restoration.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is one of 13 Bureaus within the United States Department of Commerce. NOAA is made up of six line offices with a mission to better understand our natural world and help steward its precious resources. From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s funding, products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product.


“Funding for coastal habitat restoration enables states, counties, municipalities, non-profits and tribes to submit proposals for fish passage through barrier removal,” she said. “An estimated $25M was recommended to Washington State for NW Fish Passage Restoration projects.”

NOAA is working on ways to make applying for funding “less a pain” by making it easier to apply, especially for underserved communities. “We want to give applicants the latitude to shape their own projects,” she said, “to meet the needs of those we are trying to serve.”

For every $1M spent on the environment, and estimated 18 jobs are created, she continued. “We care about fish and habitat restoration, but we also care about places, people and profits (jobs).”

She concluded with the agency’s civic responsibilities to the community, emphasizing fish, land and the tribes who are vested in restoration activities.

President Beth opened the meeting promptly at 12:30p in the Westin and on ZOOM.  Past President Jimmy Collins, accompanied by accomplished guitarist, Jeron Powell, led Rotarians in singing ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and good anthem for the coming year.
Past President, Bill Center, delivered the day’s inspiration by encouraging individual acts of kindness and goodwill; followed by a  prayer for an extraordinary year.President Beth said a committee had developed a job description for the new executive director position.  It will be sent to all members who are encouraged to consider applicants.  Closing for the position is January 23.
Seattle 4’s Environmental Sustainability Committee Chair, Erick Christensen, described his committee’s work overtime that are helping sustain the planet. He described several SRSF grants that support non-profit groups with important environmental missions: Nature Bridge for scientific education, trail clean ups, and eco-system restoration projects.
President Beth closed the meeting with recent sports highlights from the Seahawks domination of the Jets (need to beat the Rams on Sunday!)  to the Kraken’s improving record in the Pacific Division – rivaled by the Huskies win in the Alamo Bowl with a likely top ten ranking.
Thank you to Pete DeLaunay for another fabulous meeting report!
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