Since time immemorial, people have settled along the saltwater shores of what is today Washington State, supported by the rich maritime resources for food, shelter, inspiration, trade, and transportation. Today, Washington’s shores continue to serve as home to many vibrant maritime cultures. The stories of this place are diverse, complex, and constantly evolving. To help share these narratives, Maritime Washington uses three interpretive themes as an organizing framework: people, movement, and resources. Learn more about the people, places, and cultures that make up Maritime Washington by exploring this collection of stories from our shores. And be sure to check back frequently—we’re always adding new voices to this story bank.

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Women on the Waterfront: Cathy Wade

Meet fish-tender and self-proclaimed “Boat Mom” Cathy Wade and learn about her 50+ years of maritime experience fishing between Bellingham and Alaska aboard the ferry-turned-fishing boat Chief Kwina.

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Maritime Voices: Squaxin Island Lives

Hear from members of the Squaxin Island Tribe about their deep personal connections with the South Sound through oral history recordings with James Krise, Josephine Peters, Calvin Peters, and Mark Peters.

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Women on the Waterfront: Katherine Pogue

Meet Katherine Pogue, captain of the Lady Washington and true blue maritime enthusiast. It all began with a 5th-grade excursion to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, sparking a lifelong fascination with the sea. Today, she’s at the helm of the official state ship of Washington.

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Exploring Sustainably

As you explore, you can help take care of these special places so they’re still around for your next visit. Recreate responsibly and follow Leave No Trace principles while exploring outdoor spaces. Visit popular destinations during off-times or shoulder season. Support the communities you visit by frequenting locally owned businesses. And always research guidance for specific locations before you travel — especially for Tribal sites.