FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2012
Commissioner of Public Lands Goldmark announces quarterly award for DNR employee
Melissa Ferris earns honor for department’s response to Deep Sea incident
OLYMPIA – Melissa Ferris, manager of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Derelict Vessel Removal Program, was honored today for her leadership of the department’s response to the sinking and retrieval of the Deep Sea vessel earlier this year.
In announcing the Supernova Award, which honors outstanding performance, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark praised the leadership and expertise that Ferris displayed.
“Melissa’s leadership, technical expertise and problem-solving approaches exemplify what DNR employees have to offer,” said Goldmark, who also leads DNR.
In mid-May, the fishing vessel Deep Sea, which had been anchored in Penn Cove on Whidbey Island, caught fire and sank in 60 feet of water. DNR worked with local, state and federal agencies to quickly remove the vessel to prevent serious damage to the local environment, including nearby shellfish beds. In 2009, Ferris received a Meritorious Public Service Award from the United States Coast Guard. The award and medal recognized Ferris for her outstanding commitment to keeping Washington’s waters safe and clean by removing vessels that create navigational and pollution hazards in Puget Sound and on Washington’s coast.
Melissa Ferris, manager, DNR Derelict Vessel Removal Program
DNR’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program
DNR’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program provides funding and expertise to public agencies to assist the removal of abandoned and derelict vessels from state-owned aquatic land, which DNR manages. At any given time, there are about 200 derelict vessels on the rivers, lakes, and estuaries of Washington. Primary funding for the DVRP comes from a $3 surcharge placed on annual vessel registration fees and an additional $5 charge added to non-resident vessel fees.
DNR manages about 3 million acres of state-owned trust lands for revenue to trust beneficiaries including public schools, universities and public services in several counties. The department also manages about 2.6 million acres of aquatic lands, including bedlands under Puget Sound. Peter Goldmark is Washington’s 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889.
Media Contact: Bob Redling, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1149, Bob.Redling@dnr.wa.gov
# # #