State Sen. Maralyn Chase, a 32nd District Democrat who represents part of Edmonds, was awarded the Rachel Carson Award last Saturday by the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP). The award was presented during the group’s Healthy Harvest Celebration at the Eugene Vet’s Club in Oregon.
“This is an honor and a reaffirmation of my obligation and responsibility to protect our community and our environment against the hazards of pesticides,” Chase said. “This is about the air we breathe, the water we drink and the innumerable living things that make up, and power, the cycle of life on which we all rely.”
The Rachel Carson Award, named after the marine biologist whose landmark book Silent Spring dramatically raised global awareness of environmental health, is given to community members who have worked to significantly reduce pesticide use in their community.
“Simply to have my name spoken in the same sentence as Rachel Carson’s is no small honor,” Chase said. “I’m no Rachel Carson, by any means, but I can do my best to emulate her priorities. Every effort helps, and not just by me but by all of us who want to promote a healthy and thriving environment for ourselves and our descendants.”
Chase’s Senate efforts “set a new standard for sustainable public policy and common-sense community protection and representation,” NCAP officials said in recognizing her with the award. “Your efforts to move beyond a government-as-usual model and to address difficult challenges has enhanced our Northwest region and advanced NCAP’s mission to protect community and environmental health and inspire the use of ecologically sound solutions to reduce the use of pesticides.
“In your life and in your service, you exemplify the environmental values that Rachel Carson held so dear and that we work for here at NCAP.”
Chase’s most recent such efforts include her sponsorship of Senate Bill 6002, which would have required the state to develop a model program for monitoring for pests that emphasizes nonchemical measures while integrating physical mechanical, biological and, if necessary, chemical methods to achieve long-term control. Though the bill did not pass during the 2015 legislative session, Chase plans to reintroduce it when the 2016 session begins in January.