8p. Memo

ILA with UW Sea Grant


Item No.


Date of Meeting

September 13, 2022


August 4, 2022


Stephen P. Metruck, Executive Director


Sarah Ogier, Director-Maritime Environment & Sustainability
Kathleen Hurley, Sr. Program Manager- Maritime Environment & Sustainability

SUBJECT: Interlocal Agreement with Washington Sea Grant for Hershman/Keystone
Amount of this request:
Total estimated project cost:

$ 110,000

Request Commission authorization for the Executive Director to sign a 3-year Interlocal
Agreement (ILA) with the University of Washington’s Sea Grant program, substantially in the form
attached with minor changes to be approved by legal counsel. The ILA will allow the Port to host
one (1) 12-month Sea Grant Fellowship position annually from September 2022 – October 2025.
The maximum expenditure will be $150,000.
Washington Sea Grant, based out of the University of Washington, was established to help
people understand and address the challenges facing Washington’s oceans and coasts. Sea Grant
funds research, fosters education, and supports several graduate fellowship programs. The
Hershman Fellowship program is for soon-to-graduate or recently finished graduate students
who are engaged in ocean and coastal policy issues. The Keystone Fellowship recruits and
engages early career professionals who are underrepresented in the marine science, policy, and
industry workforce providing them with experience, training, and mentorship in these fields.
Over the 3-year duration of the ILA, the Port will participate in the Sea Grant program hosting a
fellow from either the Hershman or Keystone Fellowship programs. The purpose is to develop
marine and natural resource professionals and provide experience related to Port operations
and/or management of Port properties with the graduate student fellows. The Port of Seattle
(Port) has successfully hosted three fellows since September 2020. For the 2022-2023 fellowship
year, the Port will host one (1) Keystone Fellow starting on October 1, 2022. In exchange for the
services of the Fellow, the Port will provide $40,000 to the Sea Grant program. Funding for the
2022-2023 is already authorized in the annual expense budget for the Maritime Environment and
Sustainability Department (ME&S). The Fellow will be an employee of the University of
Washington, which will pay their salaries and benefits, but the Fellow will be hosted by the Port
and embedded within the ME&S department and located at Pier 69.
Template revised January 10, 2019.

COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 8p
Meeting Date: September 13, 2022

Page 2 of 6

The Port of Seattle’s ME&S department routinely works to address complex environmental
problems in the maritime industry. This work creates opportunities to engage early career
professionals through internships and/or fellowships to participate, providing value-added
services to the Port while also furthering career-development and educational objectives. The
Washington Sea Grant Fellowship program is a good fit for the Port in that it provides 12-months
of employment for highly competent recent post-grads with interest in our work, at very low
cost. In exchange, the Port will receive the benefit of their experience and assistance with
developing policies and programs related to operation of its seaport, including energy, habitat
restoration, climate resiliency, and community engagement.
Diversity in Contracting
For the 2022-2023 fellowship, the Port will to host a Keystone Fellow, a program that seeks to
broaden representation in the marine science, policy, and industry workforce, which is aligned
with the Port’s equity goals.
The Port participated in interviews of fellowship candidates through a matching process
managed by the University of Washington. The interviews included questions about the
candidates’ views on sustainability, maritime environment as well as diversity, equity and
inclusion. During the selection process, candidates expressed a passion for environmental
matters, science communication, and the maritime industry, as well as social justice.
The ME&S department first applied to be a host agency to the Hershman Fellowship program in
February 2020. We hosted two fellowship positions in 2020-21 and one fellowship position in
2022-2023. The fellows were an excellent fit at the Port and contributed value-added work
throughout their fellowships.
For 2022-23, the Port is requesting a Washington Sea Grant Keystone Fellow to assist with the
following priority environmental work:


Participate in design, construction and monitoring of mitigation bank projects in the
Green-Duwamish River Watershed and associated nearshore areas, including
coordination with project sponsor, project managers, designers, and other project team
members; and
Work with port staff, consultants and stakeholders to support habitat and stewardship
initiatives, including community engagement, stewardship, research and writing, data
analysis, project coordination, and other tasks.

The above work is critical to achieving the Port’s environmental goals related to habitat
restoration. Additional staffing support provided by Washington Sea Grant Fellows will help the
Port make progress on these goals. At the same time, the

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).

COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 8p
Meeting Date: September 13, 2022

Page 3 of 6

work will provide important professional experience for the Fellow, open pathways for
underrepresented groups in the marine and maritime science and policy fields. The Fellowship
program provides experience in local government and the environmental sciences to early career
professionals to launch them into careers in the maritime and/or environmental industry.
Scope of Work
The Fellowship will provide support to the Port’s Maritime Environment and Sustainability team.
Specific project and work are often defined in consultation with the fellow and their academic
and/or professional interests. Past fellows have supported the following areas of work:

Sustainable Shorelines Program
Science Communications
Stewardship and Habitat Restoration activities
Ocean Acidification Action Plan
Monitoring of eelgrass, kelp, and oyster enhancement

Fellowship positions are scheduled to begin in mid-September annually and will run for 12months. For 2022-2023, the Keystone Fellow will start on October 1, 2022. The interlocal
agreement needs to be finalized with the University of Washington prior to October 1, 2022.
Commission authorization
Fellowship start date
Cost Breakdown
2022-2023 Fellowship

2022 Quarter 3
2022 Quarter 4
This Request

Total Project



Alternative 1 – Engage graduate or undergraduate interns from alternate program to participate
in the work.
Cost Implications: Cost would be approximately the same, approximately $42,000 per position
for 12- months of full-time work
(1) Builds on a robust internship program.
(2) Introduces maritime environmental issues to students earlier in their education.

Interns are typically less experienced than Fellow candidates and do not provide the
same value-add as the Sea Grant Fellows.
Interns are generally limited to a 3-month period.

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).

COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 8p
Meeting Date: September 13, 2022

Page 4 of 6

This is not the recommended alternative.
Alternative 2 – Engage a full-time staff position to undertake the work.
Cost Implications: Cost would be substantially higher at $175,000 per position.
(1) Hiring full-time employee is an investment which develops long-term internal
competency and provides the Port with more consistency over time.
(1) Cost of a full-time employee is substantially higher.
(2) Hiring an additional FTE requires a longer lead time and investment of resources.
(3) The Sea Grant fellowship exposes many individuals to career development
opportunities, whereas this alternative does not.
This is not the recommended alternative.
Alternative 3 – Engage a Washington Sea Grant Fellow to participate in the work.
Cost Implications: Positions require contribution of $40,000 per position to University of
Washington with annual rate escalations over the 3-year period of the ILA.
(1) Port benefits from experience and energy of highly capable post-grads who are eager to
engage in maritime environmental issues at a much lower cost than hiring a full-time
(2) Continues partnership with University of Washington Sea Grant program.
(3) Enables the Port to fully staff habitat planning and community stewardship projects.
(4) Supports multiple early career professionals and creates pathways for professionals who
are underrepresented in the marine science, policy, and industry.
(1) Because the fellowship is only a short-term (1 year) employment opportunity, the Port
can only access the experience of the individual fellows during the one-year period.
This is the recommended alternative.
Hiring an FTE to undertake similar work would cost up to $175,000 plus the administrative time
related to the hiring process. The Sea Grant Fellowship program offers an exceptional value to
the Port related to expertise and contributions to the Maritime Environment and Sustainability
program. For years 2 and 3 of the ILA, the Washington Sea Grant (WSG) program requests that
host agencies increase their contributions to offset the sizeable subsidy WSG provides. For that
reason, the Port will commit $50,000 to the program for year 2 and $60,000 for year 3. This
Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).

COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 8p
Meeting Date: September 13, 2022

Page 5 of 6

increase not only helps WSG maintain its program and it also helps account for inflation and the
high cost of living in the Seattle area.
Cost Estimate/Authorization Summary




Original estimate




Previous authorizations
Current request for authorization
Total authorizations, including this request
Remaining amount to be authorized




Annual Budget Status and Source of Funds
The fellowship position was included in the approved 2022 and the proposed 2023 expense
budget requests. This position will be funded from the Maritime Environment and Sustainability’s
annual expense budget. Budget requests will be included in the annual expense budget requests
moving forward.
Future Revenues and Expenses (Total cost of ownership)
Future expenses are associated with funding the fellowship annually from 2022-2025. The
expected cost for 2023-2024 fellow is $50,000 and for 2024-2024 is $60,000. The Washington
Sea Grant (WSG) program requests that host agencies increase their contributions to offset the
sizeable subsidy WSG provides and annual increase and the future expenses account for inflation
and higher cost of living in the Seattle area.
The Washington Sea Grant Program supports several fellowships. These fellowships provide
excellent opportunities for students to strengthen research and policy skills. Washington Sea
Grant fellows have gone on to work in ocean science and marine policy at state, national and
international levels. The Port of Seattle has hosted three Sea Grant Fellows since September 2020
through the Hershman Fellowship Program, in which fellows spend a year working with
Washington host offices on ocean and coastal science and management issues. For the 20222023 year, the Sea Grant program reached out to Port staff requesting the Port host a Keystone
Fellow. The Keystone Fellowship is their newest program which aims to build pathways into
marine science and policy careers for individuals who are historically underrepresented in those

Draft Interlocal Agreement
Presentation slides

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).

COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 8p
Meeting Date: September 13, 2022

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August 10, 2021 – The Commission authorized the ILA for the 2021-2022 Sea Grant Hershman
Fellowship to host two fellows
August 11, 2020 – The Commission authorized the ILA for the 2020-2021 Sea Grant Hershman

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).

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