April 29, 2024

Celebrating an Important Milestone for Our Community and Our Region’s Maritime Industry

Hello Folks –

May is almost here, and things are keeping busy, both in Washington, D.C., and back home in the district. There’s a lot to cover, from a weekend spent voting in the Capitol to investments in clean energy and our local maritime industry. So, let’s jump into the news of the past two weeks!

Ensuring Relief for Our Allies

America is stronger when we stand with our allies. That’s why, for several months, my colleagues and I repeatedly called on Speaker Mike Johnson to bring forward legislation that would provide long-overdue support to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.


I’m pleased to report that a little over a week ago, the House finally voted to pass three essential security funding bills that will provide support for our allies overseas. Those pieces of legislation have now been passed by the Senate and signed by President Biden.

These bills not only provide critical security funding for our allies in Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan but also provide essential humanitarian relief for civilians in Gaza and around the world. That’s a big deal, and I am relieved Congress showed bipartisan support for freedom and democracy around the world.

Investing in Clean Energy

During my time in Congress, I have always fought for federal investments in clean energy and to protect our coastal communities and forests from the impacts of the climate crisis.

That’s why I was so excited when Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and her team had the chance to visit the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 2023 in Sequim. That visit was a great chance to showcase the outstanding work that’s happening right here in our own neck of the woods to pursue more sustainable energy sources.


During that visit, we discussed my Blue Energy Innovation Act – bipartisan legislation to harness the blue economy (technologies and economic development tied to the ocean and other waterways) and reassert the U.S. as the global leader in blue energy research and development.

I’m excited to report that I recently introduced this bipartisan legislation with the goal of helping to ensure that laboratories like PNNL-Sequim play a key role in the development of cutting-edge energy technology that capitalizes on the low-cost energy decarbonization potential of our oceans.

Over the years, Washington has continued to lead the national charge on developing blue energy, utilizing marine energy resources right here in our own backyard that can help provide clean power to coastal communities, drive economic development, and create and grow jobs across our region. With tremendous assets like PNNL-Sequim and a unique and thriving maritime sector here in Washington, the Blue Energy Innovation Act can help our region become the global leader in driving innovation and sustainability, creating “blue economy” jobs, and combatting the climate crisis.

Celebrating Major Wins for Our Maritime Industry

When Washingtonians think about the maritime sector, it shouldn’t be with feelings of nostalgia. It should be with excitement for the opportunities ahead.

As someone who grew up on the Peninsula, I know how much our maritime sector means for our economy and way of life. Beyond that, I’ve seen my whole life how the maritime industry and our ports are critical economic engines for our region, providing opportunities to keep roofs over heads and food on tables.

For nearly a century, the Point Hudson Marina has played a pivotal role in supporting Jefferson County’s maritime economy and identity as a center for the maritime trades in the Pacific Northwest. However, throughout its lifetime and especially during recent storms, the infrastructure that has protected the Point Hudson Marina has taken a beating, threatening its viability as a protector of the Port of Port Townsend.


Nearly two years ago, my office announced that we had helped secure $7 million from the Department of Commerce to repair the Point Hudson breakwater. Last week, I had the opportunity to join leaders from Port Townsend and throughout Jefferson County to celebrate the grand reopening of Point Hudson Marina. It was an event that had been years in the making. This milestone moment was a celebration of partnerships and of our maritime industry and its vital role in our local economy.

Thanks to support from the Biden Administration, Commerce Secretary Raimondo, Senator Cantwell, and the team at the Port of Port Townsend, we’re seeing the results of all those years of hard work, dedication, and community leadership.

Working for You


A Budget That Reflects the Needs of Timber Towns

Like many folks from our region, I grew up in a timber town.

On Tuesday, I asked U.S. Forest Service leadership about their efforts to amend the Northwest Forest Plan. In the 30 years that have passed since the Northwest Forest Plan was released, we have learned a lot – both about how better to care for environmental health and economic health. I’ll keep pushing for a smarter path forward.


Connecting with Local Workers

Last week, I sat down for a town hall meeting with workers from Skookum Contract Services to chat more about my work in Congress to support our local economy and ensure that every family has a roof over their head and food on the table.


Checking in with Local Students

Earlier this month, I joined students in two leadership classes at Henderson Bay High School and Gig Harbor High School to chat with them about my time in Congress and answer some of their questions. It’s moments like these that remind me of how important things like civic engagement and the right to vote are, especially for our younger generations and future leaders.

OK – that’s it for now, folks. As always, I’m honored to represent you.

Derek Kilmer
Derek Kilmer