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MEMBERS OF CONGRESS FIGHT FOR RECOGNITION OF WA MARITIME HISTORY

Partially in response to Washington State’s tourism office being eliminated by budget cuts in 2011, two South Sound Congressmen have proposed a federal designation of Puget Sound as a heritage area. The 13 mile stretch of coast would not be subject to the same regulations as a wilderness or wetland, but would hopefully attract those curious about maritime history.
Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, and Rep. Denny Heck, D-Olympia, created legislation that would create the second Northwest or West Coast heritage area, the first being in Alaska. The area would focus on the maritime history prevalent in the Puget Sound, and might lure in federal grants for projects such as preservation efforts.