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


King County residents now have until Nov. 30 to enter a contest to name a new 48-foot environmental research vessel, which will be used by county field scientists to collect samples and respond to environmental emergencies. The winner will be announced in January.


King County is hosting a contest to name its new 48-foot environmental research vessel, which county field scientists will use to collect samples in Puget Sound, Lake Washington and the Duwamish River and respond to spills. The twin-hulled catamaran will launch next spring.

The competition is open to all King County residents, who can submit ideas online at or send an email to by Nov. 30, 2015.

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 2016.

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 new vessel will replace The Liberty, which has been in operation for nearly 40 years.

King County field scientists will use the new vessel to collect water, biological and sediment samples 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.

For more information about the mission of King County’s Environmental Lab, please visit