What a dynamic time this is for the Port Townsend Marine Science Center! Despite continued hardships around the world, we have learned to grow together while apart, to prioritize what is most important and to overcome obstacles we scarcely could have imagined only a few years ago. Though the challenges continued in 2021, our team recognized that, more than ever, it is important to embrace our mission in order to better conserve the Salish Sea.
In August, 2021, this commitment resulted in the purchase of the historic Flagship Landing Building on Water Street in Port Townsend. During the next 3-5 years, we will maintain our aquarium and museum at Fort Worden State Park while also reaching a broader audience in the heart of downtown with our visitor center and store. We are eager to forge new relationships with the city and the port so that we can work collaboratively for positive change. Even after our public exhibits move downtown in the coming years, we will maintain a presence at Fort Worden with an Environmental Learning Center housed in the current museum building.
Flagship Landing, which has been an iconic part of Port Townsend for over 136 years, allows us to proudly tell the story of the Salish Sea and the importance of marine conservation in a setting where we can directly demonstrate the impact that rising sea levels have on coastal communities like ours. And, what we must do to adapt to these changes.
As we plan our building renovations in a phased approach, we will make use of “green” elements every step of the way, including information about how others can incorporate these concepts into their own lives. Our new home will itself become a part of our conservation story. As we develop this project, we will work with our community via committees, surveys, focus groups and listening sessions. This new chapter of our story is one that we want to co-author with you.
Recognizing that the best time for a change in leadership is at the beginning of a new chapter, our former executive director, Janine Boire, chose to strategically announce in October 2021 that she was stepping down. Meanwhile, I was completing the research for my Ph.D. in quantitative ecology at Purdue University. My background includes extensive non-profit leadership, oversight of capital campaigns and managing construction projects —skills I knew I could contribute to PTMSC's future. When visiting Port Townsend, I felt an instant connection to the passion, enthusiasm and curiosity of the community and the PTMSC team. I knew immediately that I wanted to devote my life’s work to this special place.
Looking forward, the PTMSC is well-positioned for growth. Thanks to our generous supporters, we are in a strong financial position. Our programs are resilient, with virtual, hybrid and in-person options available. We are proud of the impact that we have made during the pandemic: providing healing opportunities to immerse oneself in nature; collecting critical data through our citizen science projects; and continuing to inspire action for a better future for the Salish Sea through our exhibits and lifelong learning opportunities.
As we move forward out of the pandemic, we are incredibly grateful for your ongoing support. We could not have remained open without the dedication of our community. We face climate challenges ahead, but we are in our strongest-ever position to inspire conservation, take action and create positive change on a significant scale.
Working together, we can make incredible things happen! I am so honored to join you in protecting this magical place.
Bee Redfield, Executive Director
2021 PTMSC Staff
Janine Boire, Executive Director
Liesl Slabaugh, Development & Marketing Director
Diane Quinn, Program Director
Betsy Carlson, Community Science Coordinator
Debra Diner, Administrative Specialist
Phil Dinsmore, Facilities Coordinator
Brian Kay, Marketing & Development Coordinator
Alexandra Redman, Aquarium Curator
Gabriele Sanchez, Volunteer & Program Coordinator
Carolyn Woods, Education Coordinator
PTMSC AmeriCorps Members
Holly Weinstein, Volunteer Program Educator
Molly Shea, Museum Educator
Dorit Nowicki-Liss, Aquarium Educator
Meghan-Grace Slocombe, Community Science Lab Educator
Erin Merklein, Marine Stewardship Educator
Malaika Rosenfeld, Marine Stewardship Educator
Holly Weinstein, Marine Stewardship Educator