Over the past three years administering DNR's Derelict Vessel Removal Program, Montgomery has overseen the removal of more than 50 vessels that create navigation and pollution hazards in Puget Sound and on Washington's coast.

"I am honored by the Coast Guard's recognition.  I work very hard in my job to do the best that I can with the resources I have.  Vessel removals are a team effort by multiple agencies," said Montgomery.

Also present from DNR were Department Supervisor Lenny Young and Deputy Supervisor of Aquatics & Agency Resources Bridget Moran, showing their support for Montgomery's notable service. Montgomery's parents were also on hand to celebrate their daughter's achievements.

"We are impressed with Melissa's commitment to her position.  This is a prestigious award, which she has earned. We are very proud of both her and the progress of the program," said Moran.

The Derelict Vessel Program is funded by boater registration fees through the general fund and was created in 2003 under the leadership of Sen. Rockefeller, D-Kitsap.