Community Conversations Kick Off Washington Coast Works 2017

The third year of the Washington Coast Works initiative kicks off Tuesday with a round of Community Conversations led by past Coast Works winners and participants. 

Everyone is invited to come talk about what sustainable wellbeing means in their communities and to identify projects or activities that could help bring it about. These conversations will continue throughout the year, and participants will be invited to a year-end summit to share projects and ideas.

Community conversations are slated for:

Jessica Ellis, 2016 Washington Coast Works winner.

Jessica Ellis, 2016 Washington Coast Works winner.

·        Aberdeen, Tuesday, March 21: Grays Harbor College, room 4134, 4 to 7 p.m

·        Forks, Thursday, March 23: Peninsula College, Main Admin Building, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

·        Port Angeles, Saturday, March 25: Peninsula College, House of Learning Longhouse (located at back of campus), 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Last year’s Coast Works winner, Jessica Ellis, won $10,000 to expand Freedom Acres, a dog boarding business that uses salvaged materials, solar power, and all natural supplies for its K9 lodge and K9 kennels. In 2015 Emily Foster, a Quileute tribal member from Forks, won $10,000 for equipment and supplies to launch Lonzo’s Seafood Company, offering smoked Quileute-caught fresh salmon.

“Jessica is leading sustainability through her business, and Emily is building a business that will encourage responsible use of our natural resources,” said Eric Delvin, Emerald Edge Director. 

Competition winner Emily Foster with her father  Lonnie “Lonzo” Foster at the Quileute Marina in La Push. © Kara Cardinal/TNC

Competition winner Emily Foster with her father  Lonnie “Lonzo” Foster at the Quileute Marina in La Push. © Kara Cardinal/TNC

Read more about Emily’s project here.

The goal of the Coast Works initiative is to catalyze small and locally-owned “triple bottom line” businesses. These are businesses that generate profit by contributing to conservation of local natural resources and that will lead a network of community conversations focused on building sustainable community well-being in rural communities on the Washington coast.

Local businesses promoting sustainability and making sustainable use of local natural resources are an essential part of the foundation for durable conservation and long-term well-being in our rural communities on the coast,” added Delvin.

Folks interested in learning more about the Coast Works initiative are encouraged to participate.

Washington Coast Works was established by The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Taala Fund. The program is designed to diversify the economies in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties through the development of new small businesses, build business leadership in local communities, grow a constituency that supports conservation and sustainable natural resource use, and ultimately contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast.

Learn more about Washington Coast Works.

Banner photo credit: © Joel Rogers.