The Marine Trades Committee of the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce proudly announced a significant contribution of $28,000 to bolster youth boating initiatives and support marine workforce development within Skagit County.

Sourced from the prosperous 2023 Anacortes Yacht & Boat Show, jointly organized by the Anacortes Chamber and the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA), these funds mark a pivotal investment in the local community.

The Anacortes Chamber of Commerce’s Marine Trades Committee and Northwest Marine Trade Association celebrate the donations to the Anacortes Waterfront Alliance and the Skagit Valley Marine Technology program.

Jesica Kiser, president/CEO of the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, emphasized the profound impact of the marine trades industry on Anacortes. “The marine trades industry stands as one of the largest economic drivers in Anacortes, immensely vital and deeply cherished. We are thrilled to reinvest back into this industry, thanks to the remarkable success of the Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show. The city is fortunate to host such a high-quality event, a stellar tourism draw, and a remarkable contributor to the city’s sales revenue.”

Founded in 2018, as one of the premiere on-water boat shows on the West Coast, the Anacortes Yacht & Boat Show has successfully drawn visitors nationwide, contributing to its unparalleled success. The joint efforts of the Anacortes Chamber and the NMTA have cemented this event as a significant driver of tourism and sales revenue for the city.

Of the total contribution, the Anacortes Waterfront Alliance (AWA) will receive $18,000 to acquire three new Tera sailboats. This generous donation will expand their capacity to engage more youth in their learn to sail classes (which currently sell out in 24 hours), increase the size of the fleet for their middle school racing team and expand the size of their rental fleet for community access days.

“We’re honored and grateful to receive these funds, which will allow us to get “more future boaters of America” as I call them, on the water,” said Mary Trester, executive director, Anacortes Waterfront Alliance.

The Skagit Valley College Marine Technology program was allocated $10,000 to facilitate the procurement of outboard motors dedicated to training purposes. This initiative aims to enhance marine workforce development by providing essential resources for skill-building within the industry. Additionally,  Shawn Ottenbreit of Salish Boat, generously allowed Skagit Valley College to purchase the outboard motors at cost and also donated $1,000, allowing the College to parlay the Chamber’s donation into seven engines, two more than they would have been able to purchase at retail.

Furthermore, The Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Marine Trades Committee, remains committed to supporting initiatives that nurture local talent, stimulate economic growth, and foster a thriving marine community in Skagit County.