Aberdeen - The Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, which owns and operates the Lady Washington, the Official Ship of the State of Washington, is asking the public to attend one of seven workshops on a proposed Maritime National Heritage Area. The area, if designated by Congress, would cover Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and most of the state's Pacific coast. Workshops are scheduled in Aberdeen, Anacortes, Bellingham, Bremerton, Port Townsend, Tacoma, and Seattle.
A National Heritage Area is a federal designation that recognizes the culturally and historically significant resources in a region and that region's role in the nation's history. Today, there are over 40 National Heritage Areas across the country, none of which are on the West Coast. The designation supports local citizens in preserving, sharing, and promoting the region's heritage, and does not increase federal regulation. A Maritime National Heritage Area in Washington State would focus on the region's maritime history, beginning with native peoples through the present day.