As we continue down this unprecedented journey together, I wanted to update you on some of the activities that Washington Sea Grant is doing to support the people of Washington and the greater Pacific Northwest during this time.
One of the biggest areas of concern that I keep hearing about is the impacts to our industry and tribal partners on the broad topic of food security. Our communities have been significantly impacted by major shifts in export and domestic markets; supply chain and food storage disruptions; the loss of jobs; changes to cash flow; risks to staff safety, mental and physical health; and many other issues. In response to these challenges, we have been sharing information on state, federal and legal COVID-19 resources that are available for fishermen, shellfish growers and tribes.
Especially as many wholesalers and retailers are temporarily closed, we hope that our Fisherman’s Direct Marketing Manual will be useful to local fishermen who are looking for new markets. We have also been developing marketing and communications products to help educate consumers on the value and importance of Washington seafood.
Educators, parents and kids have been significantly impacted by the closure of schools. We have been working to compile online resources for marine learning, which we hope will be useful to those who are adapting to the challenges of home-based education. We have updated our Washington on Water database of marine education resources, and have put together a new list of additional local resources.
Finally, we are doing everything we can to ensure that the volunteers, scientists and students that we support have the flexibility and support that they need to continue to be productive and safe. Our overarching goal is to do what we can to aid the extended Sea Grant community and to continue working to make a positive difference for Washington in these challenging times.
Please stay safe and healthy!
Russell Callender, WSG Director