As Washington Sea Grant’s boating program specialist, Aaron Barnett works with boat owners, marina operators and port managers to keep Washington’s waters safe for people and wildlife. From his base at the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Aaron manages Pumpout Washington, a collaboration with the Washington State Parks Clean Vessel Program to keep onboard sewage out of local waterways. Since he launched the program in 2012, Aaron and the volunteers he’s recruited have distributed more than 8,000 kits that make it easier and cleaner for boaters to connect their . He also works with marinas to install pump-out stations, with more than 150 now located throughout the state.
Previously, Aaron was the owner–operator of Proactive Environmental, which designed and supplied pumping systems to the marine and aerospace industries. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard as an underway watch officer and navigator responsible for search and rescue, maritime law and fisheries enforcement, and in various positions in the U.S. Merchant Marines. Aaron holds a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and a master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs.