WSG News Blog

Director’s Note: Washington Sea Grant’s response to COVID-19

March 17, 2020

Russell Callender, WSG Director

COVID-19 is clearly impacting all of us. Washington Sea Grant (WSG) is no exception. We have worked hard to heed the rapidly evolving guidance coming from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Governor’s office and the University of Washington. My primary two goals in WSG’s response has been to keep my staff safe and ensure the safety of the public that we interact with regularly. Therefore, it was with an abundance of caution that I made the hard decision to cancel our annual shellfish grower’s conference and many of our citizen science training events. The decision to cancel the shellfish grower’s conference was particularly difficult, as I recognize that the shellfish growers and processing industry have already been severely impacted with the loss of trade to China.

Most WSG staff have moved to telework arrangements in an effort to limit contact with others. I believe that we have been responding responsibly and are playing our part as an organization intent upon keeping our communities safe. The challenges moving forward in Washington and globally will likely continue to intensify. However, WSG is a strong and resilient team of dedicated professionals. We are 100 percent committed to the Sea Grant mission and want to do everything that we can to support our constituents. We recognize that the challenges and demands upon our coastal and shoreline ecosystems remain and our science, outreach and education programming as well as our communications services will continue to be needed. Sea Grant is still open for business and we will continue to support the needs of our state. We are still available to you. However, for the time being, most contact will be conducted individually by phone, email or videoconference.

Here are a few important resources to assist you as we move forward in this together:

CDC guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
UW guidance: https://www.washington.edu/coronavirus/
WSG event cancellations: https://wsg.washington.edu/event-cancellations/
WSG staff list: https://wsg.washington.edu/about-wsg/staff-dir/

Russell Callender, WSG Director

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