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Great news! Deadline extended in contest to name King County’s new environmental research vessel

By November 6, 2015November 20th, 2015One Comment

King County’s research vessel, The Liberty, monitoring water quality in Puget SoundWTD invites people to submit ideas in a “Name the Vessel” competition that kicked off on Nov. 6.

King County residents now have until Nov. 30 to enter a “Name the Vessel” contest that kicked off on Nov. 6.

Submit ideas online at or send an email to by Nov. 30.

Times have certainly changed since the current vessel, The Liberty, began its storied career monitoring and protecting regional water quality nearly 40 years ago. New and stricter regulatory requirements have expanded the sampling area as well as the number and type of samples needed.

Fast forward to 2015, and The Liberty is ready to retire and make way for a 48-foot twin-hulled catamaran that will be faster, cleaner and more energy efficient.


The new vessel is a twin-hulled catamaran that will be faster, cleaner and more efficient.

What’s missing is a suitable name that reflects our environmental mission.

The naming contest is open to all King County residents and entries will be judged on the following guidelines:

  • Names should be short, non-offensive, simple to pronounce, have no commercial overtones, and meet ethical standards and existing county codes.
  • Names should have broad familiarity, carry countywide or regional significance, and reflect King County’s image and culture.
  • Names should represent things such as geographic locations, waterbodies, cities, or have cultural, environmental, or nautical significance.
  • Names commemorating individuals should be avoided but may be considered on careful review. Selection would require approval of the King County Executive and King County Council.
  • A short explanation about your name idea will assist the judges’ evaluation.

The top three names will be put to public vote from Dec. 7-24 and a winner will be announced on Jan. 4, 2016. The winner will receive a plaque recognizing their contribution, as well as tour of the new boat when it officially begins service in the spring or summer of 2016.

King County’s Environmental Lab employs field scientists who will use the new vessel to collect water, biological and sediment samples at a number of locations in Puget Sound, Lake Washington and the Duwamish River. The sampling and monitoring is required under state and federal laws to keep the environment safe and healthy for people and wildlife.

The new vessel, which will enable employees to do more work in less time, will also be able to respond much more quickly to environmental emergencies such as illegal spills and dumping, toxic algae blooms, fish kills and beach erosion.

King County made the decision to purchase a new vessel after careful evaluation and financial assessment of other options that included upgrades and repairs to The Liberty, renting a vessel, or sharing a vessel with another public agency. The new vessel is estimated to cost between $1.8 and $2.2 million.

Get more info about the mission of King County’s Environmental Lab here.