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Legislature nets $500,000 for Poulsbo Marine Science Center

Poulsbo Marine Science Lab Director Ralph St. Andre works with students performing a salinity test in this file photo. Suquamish students were visiting and running the gamut of experiments in the new floating lab facility.  The students (L-R) Trenna McDaniel, Tristin Bugge, parent volunteer Sharley Schmitt, Joel Trousdales and Orion Reidel.  - Brad Camp/Staff photo
Poulsbo Marine Science Lab Director Ralph St. Andre works with students performing a salinity test in this file photo. Suquamish students were visiting and running the gamut of experiments in the new floating lab facility. The students (L-R) Trenna McDaniel, Tristin Bugge, parent volunteer Sharley Schmitt, Joel Trousdales and Orion Reidel.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff photo

The cash-strapped Poulsbo Marine Science Center could see $500,000 coming its way at the end of a legislative session riddled with cutbacks.

The 2009-2011 capital budget, approved by both legislative chambers, has funded 15 projects in the 23rd Legislative District for a total of $8.5 million, according to a Monday morning press release. State Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo) is calling it a "rare bright spot in a difficult session."

"This capital budget is a bright spot in a session that didn't have many of them," Appleton said. "A half-million dollars for the Marine Science Center, even more for Kitsap Mental Health's Keller House, over $3 million for work at Olympic College . . . this is money that means jobs in our communities and a better quality of life in the 23rd District."

Last year, the Poulsbo Marine Science Center received $100,000 in legislative funding, but lost it in cuts under Gov. Christine Gregoire's pen. The center, which closed in 2005 because of funding troubles and reopened in 2007, has been looking for ways to extend its operational life since.

"The center benefits all of Kitsap County," Appleton said, "and we were counting on the funding last year, but it was snatched away at the last minute. I wasn't going to let that happen again, particularly with so many other aspects of this session being so troublesome."

Capital budget bond-generated funds will also go to the Kitsap Girl Scout Center, Kitsap YMCA, and Illahee State Park, according to the release.

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