Longtime Puget Sound maritime advocate Debbie Granger is the recipient of the 2022 Puget Sound Maritime Achievement Award.
Granger, a member of the Working Waterfront Coalition of Whatcom County, is one of just three women to win the award since it was first given out in 1951.
Granger is known for her work in raising awareness of the region’s maritime industry, bringing her experience in education, fish processing, public relations, marketing, fundraising and event management to the table. Before retiring to Whatcom County, she worked at the University of Washington, where she oversaw a 12-state aquaculture research consortium.
She created the Bellingham SeaFeast, a signature event that pays homage to Whatcom County’s maritime culture, and helped to start the Bellingham Dockside Market, which serves as a space local fishermen to sell seafood directly out of Squalicum Harbor. She has also raised funds for a new Fisheries and Aquaculture Center for Bellingham Technical College.
Granger is currently establishing the Northwest Maritime Apprenticeship Program to help address the lack of qualified employees for jobs in the marine trades industry.
“Debbie’s work has been essential to the success of our organization,” Coalition President Jim Kyle said. “Her knowledge and work ethic set a very high bar.”
The Port of Bellingham congratulated Granger on the honor.
“Debbie is a tremendous advocate for Whatcom County’s working waterfront and her passion and energy for marine trades is second to none,” Port Executive Director Rob Fix said. “Debbie has made numerous and meaningful contributions to our marine trades community and the Puget Sound Maritime Achievement Award is well deserved.”