COUPEVILLE, Wash. — Volunteers in the Washington State University Beach Watchers program today honored U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen for his successful efforts in Congress to secure federal funding to expand the program. The award was presented to the 2nd District congressman in a ceremony at the Admiralty Head Lighthouse, home of WSU Island County Extension and the Beach Watchers program.
Rep. Larsen’s advocacy in the House of Representatives on behalf of the Beach Watchers program resulted in bipartisan congressional support for a special appropriation to expand the highly successful volunteer program from its base in Island County to the shoreline counties of Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Clallam, Jefferson and San Juan. Efforts are already underway to establish the program in those counties.
“Programs like Beach Watchers that train and mobilize citizen volunteers for the betterment of their communities are a good investment with big returns for the taxpayer and the community,” Larsen said. “I’m pleased to support these volunteers and I’m honored by their recognition.”
“The congressman is a strong advocate for clean water and the environment, and clean water is what the Beach Watchers are all about, from the top of the watershed to the bottom of Puget Sound,” said WSU Island County Extension chair Don Meehan.
Since the program was founded in 1989, 242 volunteers in Island County have become Beach Watchers by completing more than 100 hours of training through WSU Extension. In return, the volunteers commit to return at least 100 hours in community service. To date, Beach Watchers have returned more than 95,000 hours in volunteer service and public education to the community.
More information about the WSU Beach Watchers program is available at www.beachwatchers.wsu.edu or by calling (360) 679-7327 or 321-5111 ext. 7327.
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