Washington Sea Grant offers a range of classes and workshops that help marine professionals improve their skills, while promoting a safer, pollution-free environment. Other classes provide community members with tools for supporting their marine environment.

WSG Workshops

WSG Safety and Survival Class

Clean and Simple Workshops

Teri King, Marine Water Quality Specialist


Contaminants in Puget Sound are a growing concern. Heavy metals such as mercury, copper and lead are known to have neurological, developmental and reproductive effects on wildlife and humans. Cleaning products may not be responsible for the majority of contaminants in Puget Sound but they do contribute to pollution problems.


To schedule a workshop for you community group, contact Teri King at

Coastal Flood Risk Reduction Course

Nicole Faghin, Coastal Management Specialist


Many major disaster declarations are due in whole or in part to flooding. But communities can adopt corrective and preventive measures to reduce flood damage. This course incorporates floodplain management practices, and participants learn about the traditional structural and nonstructural mitigation approaches to reduce risk, increase opportunities for prevention, and increase resilience.


The coastal flood risk reduction course, offered through the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center and taught in local communities throughout Washington state, provides an overview of the flooding risks to coastal built and natural environments, in addition to introducing capabilities (approaches and tools) that can support coastal prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Contact Nicole Faghin at

Financial Planning and Marketing for Fishermen

Sarah Fisken, Marine Operations Specialist


With declining catches, fewer fish buyers, lower prices paid at landing and shrinking profit margins, commercial fishermen seek ways to increase the value of their catches through better handling, processing, storing, quality control and marketing. Since 2006, WSG and Philips Publishing Group have presented the Wild Seafood Exchange, an annual forum for Northwest and Alaska fishermen to discuss ways to start or improve direct marketing operations. The Exchange brings together fishermen, seafood buyers, restaurant operators, retail food dealers, and financial, business and marketing experts


Participation in Seattle’s annual Pacific Marine Expo also offers opportunities to share information and discuss industry needs. In addition, WSG is helping create a financial- and business-planning toolkit to help fishermen boost their profitability to be delivered through the national Sea Grant network.

Learn more about how Washington Sea Grant supports local fisheries here.

Contact Sarah Fisken at

Marine Safety and First Aid Training

Sarah Fisken, Marine Operations Specialist


WSG helps Washington fishermen reduce risks with port-based, U.S. Coast Guard-certified training in emergency preparedness, fire response, cold-water rescue, first aid and other safety measures, using the latest equipment and procedures. Staff specialists also train recreational boaters in first aid and at-sea safety and survival. Since the mid-1990s, WSG safety training classes on Puget Sound, Washington’s outer coast and the Columbia River have markedly reduced fatalities in several fisheries.Topics covered in First Aid at Sea courses include patient assessment, hypothermia, cold water, near-drowning, shock, trauma, burns, fractures, choking, immobilization and important contents for first aid kits.


WSG experts also train commercial fishermen and charter boat operators in how to conduct safety drills at sea. These courses meet the training requirements of the Commercial Fishing Safety Act. The course work combines lectures and hands-on experience with the safety and survival equipment required on commercial fishing vessels. Fishermen and boaters learn about emergency procedures and develop appropriate drills for their own vessels.

Contact Sarah Fisken at

Sea Level Rise Adaptation Course

Nicole Faghin, Coastal Management Specialist


With climate change comes impacts to our coastlines from storm surges and rising sea levels. Planning for climate change is an important priority for Washington’s coastal communities. For professionals planning ahead to address sea level rise, WSG specialists offer a course through the Coastal Training Program.


Course materials include adaptation tools and methods, flood impact and risk-reduction planning, climate-change and sea-level-rise communication strategies and inundation mapping strategies. Courses are taught in conjunction with NOAA’s Office of Coastal Management.

Contact Nicole Faghin at

Seafood Training for Meatcutters

Sarah Fisken, Marine Operations Specialist and Teri King, Marine Water Quality Specialist


Many customers wonder whether the fish they eat are clean, healthy, high-quality, and sustainably caught. Often they direct these questions to workers behind supermarket seafood counters who wish they could help customers find the answers. Based on a survey of meatcutters and seafood department managers in several local grocery chains, WSG designed a 12-hour seafood retail training program for apprentice meatcutters.


This program is offered in conjunction with the meatcutter apprenticeship programs of South Seattle Community College and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. After the trainings, apprentices are evaluated on their retention of seafood information and surveyed about customer knowledge and training impacts.

Contact Sarah Fisken at
Contact Teri King at

Septic Sense – Septic Socials and Septic System Landscaping Classes

Teri King, Marine Water Quality Specialist


Septic Socials

A Septic Social is a great way to meet your neighbors and entertain your friends while discovering your underground treasure. The program, which has been running for more than 20 years, was developed by WSG to bring the topic of septic system operation and maintenance to users’ backyards.

Sea Grant staff meet with the host a week before a Social to uncover the septic system and learn its layout. During the Social, participants learn to check the sludge and scum layer as well as the system’s flow. Uncovering the system and letting people explore it from aboveground takes the mystery out of how the system works.

Find more resources here:



Septic System Landscaping

Planting is recommended in septic areas because plants assist oxygen exchange and evaporation in the drainfield area. Covering your septic area with plastics, bark, gravel or patio blocks set in sand won’t provide the same benefits as planting. Landscapes can be attractive and easily maintained when you choose the right plants and adornments to conceal aboveground septic system components. How do you know which plants will do well? Which ones won’t harm your system? This workshop teaches homeowners the basics of landscaping existing and new septic systems.


For more information about these workshops, email Teri King at

Maintaining Your Pressure Distribution Septic System

Maintaining Your On-Site Sand Filter Septic System

Maintaining Your Mound Septic System

Training and Professional Development for Shoreline and Coastal Planners

Nicole Faghin, Coastal Management Specialistt


Communities, nongovernmental organizations and coastal businesses in Western Washington need information to help them prepare for future coastal issues. WSG meets this need by providing training, outreach, networking opportunities and technical assistance to shoreline and coastal planners. Working with the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), WSG established and will continue to support the Shoreline and Coastal Planners Group (SCPG), providing regular opportunities for coastal professionals to discuss policy concerns, new technologies, emerging issues and other relevant topics.

More information is available here:


WSG maintains the SCPG email list and website, coordinates regular group meetings, facilitates new partnerships and provides a network for exchanging technical information. WSG also coordinates and presents a broad range of full-day training sessions for professionals working with Ecology’s Coastal Training Program.

Examples of past training topics include:

  • “How to Administer Development Permits in Western Washington’s Shorelines,”
  • “Presentation Skills for Scientists and Public Officials,” and
  • “Climate Change Series.”


Contact Nicole Faghin at