Who We Are

Hear more from the people and communities featured in this video with our This Is Maritime Washington series.

We are connected by water

Washington State’s shorelines have long been defined by their relationship to saltwater and connected by a shared maritime heritage. Since time immemorial, water and maritime culture have shaped this place and its people, contributing greatly to the development of the region and the nation. Today, maritime heritage remains a vibrant part of Washington’s communities, economy, and identity. The 2019 designation of the Maritime Washington National Heritage Area recognized what Washingtonians have long known and taken pride in: our saltwater shores are some of the most unique, culturally important places in the country.

Convener, storyteller, advocate

The Maritime Washington National Heritage Area is a non-regulatory, regionwide partnership program that strengthens, shares, and connects our state’s maritime communities and resources. We know that the peoples and organizations along Washington’s saltwater shorelines can have limited opportunity to collaborate and celebrate their vibrant water-based cultures—often leaving Washington’s maritime heritage under-appreciated. That’s why Maritime Washington partners with diverse, cross-sector organizations to connect the maritime community, protect our resources, and connect residents and visitors alike with our state’s maritime heritage.

For those working to preserve and interpret maritime heritage, this means more ways to connect: with your peers doing similar work, with funding opportunities and technical assistance, with new regional and national audiences, and with allies to help advocate for your mission.

For all those who live, work, and play along our saltwater shores, we’re here to help you get to know this region even better by sharing the best places to experience our rich maritime heritage and introducing you to new stories and voices from our saltwater shores.


The Maritime Washington National Heritage Area supports a network that strengthens the maritime community and connects people with the stories, experiences, resources, and cultures of our state’s saltwater shores and waterways. 


Maritime Washington envisions a future in which:

  • Maritime partners are stronger through increased organizational sustainability, more funding opportunities, stronger cross-sector and cross-regional relationships, broadened networks for sharing ideas and solutions, and increase support for leaders and practitioners.
  • Maritime heritage in Washington celebrates and reflects the diverse people, communities, and cultures within it—past, present, and future.
  • Residents and visitors alike are more connected with Washington’s maritime resources, stories, and spaces through interpretation, physical access, and a strong sense of place.


Maritime Washington commits to being:

  • Respectful
  • Place-based
  • Inclusive
  • Collaborative
  • Approachable

What we do

Maritime Washington works to:

  • Build a network of cross-sector partners dedicated to advancing and honoring Washington’s maritime cultures.
  • Provide support and resources for communities and Tribes working to enhance and share maritime heritage.
  • Share diverse stories and increase visibility of Washington’s maritime heritage, past and present.
  • Encourage sustainable experiences of maritime heritage for residents and visitors alike.
  • Preserve our region’s unique maritime identity, resources, and lifeways.

Want to learn more about the course ahead for Maritime Washington? Check out our Management Plan for more details on what the heritage area will do.