Maritime Blue in 2022: Our 6 Favorite Stories
2022 witnessed unparalleled developments in the blue economy. From commercial vessels voluntarily slowing down to protect endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales, to more than X maritime startups graduating our accelerator programs, we saw the hard work and dedication of our community ripple across the maritime industry.
To commemorate an empowering year we’re sharing, in no particular order, 6 of our favorite moments that helped advance innovation for maritime business, technology, and sustainability economic growth, ecological health, and thriving communities.
As the year comes to a close, we’re grateful for your consistent support and look forward to continuing toward even stronger economic growth, ecological health, and thriving communities in 2023.
#1: Maritime Blue’s Third Wave Includes Plastic Alternatives, Sustainable Seafood Snacks And Electric Outboards
In January, Forbes featured a story highlighting our more than $200M investments in three cohorts of startups, all focused on sustainability and commitment to centering on equity. Our third wave Accelerator cohort innovators included Sea Potential, Blue Dot Kitchen, and Steamchain.
In total, Maritime Blue’s Accelerator has now supported over 35 startups with more than $400M in public and privately raised funds and over 400 jobs created throughout our alumni companies.
#2: Quiet Sound aims to expand efforts to protect endangered orcas from marine traffic
In February, the Quiet Sound program officially launched their efforts to reduce underwater noise pollution in the Puget Sound, protecting a critical habitat for endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. The news of their launch was received with great enthusiasm and widespread. As Quiet Sound’s projects continue into 2023, we look forward to sharing their results.
#3: Washington State Ferries looks to the next generation to staff — and bring diversity to — future crew
In August, as part of their 8-week paid internship, participants in Washington Maritime Blue’s Youth Maritime Accelerator Project (YMAP) hopped aboard a Washington State Ferry for a firsthand look at career opportunities within the ferry industry. This was just one of many maritime experiential activities YMAP interns explored through partnership with the Youth Maritime Collaborative led by the Washington Maritime Blue’s Equity Engagement Team.
In 2022, Maritime Blue’s Equity Engagement team served 65 youth who had no prior maritime experience. 40% of these youth are actively pursuing continued job training in maritime based programs.
#4: Social Impact Heroes Helping Our Planet: Why & How Jennifer States Of Washington Maritime Blue Is Helping To Change Our World
Also in August, Jennifer States, Vice President of Projects and Strategy, shared insights with Authority Magazine as a ‘Social impact hero helping our planet’. Jennifer’s work facilitating public-private partnerships through collaborative Joint Innovation Projects, strategic planning, and implementation for maritime innovation and decarbonization projects across government, industry, research, and community organizations are making significant waves across the maritime industry.
#5: Full Circle in Helsinki, President/CEO Joshua Berger
In September, President and CEO Joshua Berger traveled to Finland and Norway alongside a delegation of Washington State’s public sector and business leaders, including Governor Jay Inslee and the founding members of the state’s Innovation Cluster Accelerator program. The trip reinforced and refueled critical partnerships with Finnish and Norwegian maritime communities, solidifying the importance of collaboration in support of a sustainable future.
#6: Slowing down ships to help killer whales
In October, Quiet Sound officially launched the first-of-its-kind vessel slowdown trial—a region-wide collaboration among scientists, government agencies, the shipping industry, the U.S. military and tribal groups. The Slowdown is a revolutionary initiative to address the impact of noise produced by large commercial vessels on the local Southern Resident Killer Whale population. The news of the launch was initially covered by a local NPR station and quickly gained traction, being picked up by an array of large publications including The Seattle Times and Axios.
Thanks for being a part of our community this year. Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season!