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On behalf of the Port, I would like to extend a big thank you to the many people who helped make the 3rd Annual SeaFeast a huge success, and especially to our amazing maritime community who put their hearts and souls (and a lot of elbow grease) into showcasing our waterfront. It is no small feat to put on a two-day festival for thousands of people with all sorts of different activities happening in multiple locations. I heard nothing but complements from elected officials, community members and project stakeholders; and it is truly impressive for a community run event to be so well received and so well organized. The success of SeaFeast is a direct result of the pride in our waterfront shared by the individuals and families who make up the maritime and commercial fishing industry in Whatcom County.
Our waterfront is a crossroads of sorts between the people who work there for a living, and the rest of us who come down to the waterfront to get on our boats, in our kayaks, or just to walk up and down Taylor Dock. I may be biased, but to stand on the shores of Boulevard Park and watch the sunset over the San Juan Islands is an experience unlike any other. SeaFeast brings to life our connection with the Salish Sea and enhances it with the broader connection shared by our maritime community which infuses every bit of the festival.
As the last Pacific outpost between the United States and Canada, Whatcom County has a strong history of producing some of the most knowledgeable and innovative maritime people in the world. From Archibald Talbot to Art Nordvedt, the tradition of excellence continues today within our remarkable maritime community. Over 6,000 people in Whatcom County have jobs created or supported by marine trades, many of whom work on Port property. I am fortunate to see their innovation all the time, from Matt Mullett at All American Marine building the largest electric powered vessel in the United States, to Doug Thomas at Bellingham Cold Storage who has implemented a state-of-the-art storage and distribution system for seafood and berries.
I’m proud of our maritime community. They excel at what they do because they take pride what they do. Considering this, it is of little surprise that SeaFeast is a first-class production. The success of this waterfront festival belongs in large part to the passion and commitment of longtime commercial fisher and SeaFeast Executive Director Debbie Granger. Debbie has surrounded herself with great people and the list of names, businesses, organizations and fresh seafood vendors is nothing short of spectacular. From the Lummi Tribe to the Whatcom Commercial Fishermen’s Association, we are community that honors and appreciates our special place by the Salish Sea. Thank you to everyone who helped make the 3rd Annual SeaFeast an amazing event, and I look forward to seeing you in line for bacon wrapped scallops next year.