Hello Seaport Members and Supporters!

Once again, I’m honored to represent the Seaport in my new role as Executive Director.  2020 is going to be filled with exciting changes and improvements for the Seaport.

  • Heritage Boat Shop Expansion and Enhancement

The enhancement and expansion of the Heritage Boat Shop will improve the visitor experience and educational programs at the Foss Waterway Seaport through construction of enclosure walls and ceiling, an enclosed vented room for sanding and finishing, a central dust collection system, viewing panels/windows and displays for visitors as well as a teaching room within the boat shop area.

The enhanced Heritage Boat Shop will continue to be used for its current purposes of allowing repair and construction of historic wooden boats along with becoming an important educational space for accommodating school classes, family projects and general community learning.

  • Tacoma Public Schools Partnership

2020 marks the beginning of a partnership between the Seaport and Tacoma Public Schools that will provide field trips to 40 middle school classes in a format that includes an increased number of student contact hours as well as, learning experiences both on the water and in the museum. 

This new partnership, coupled with our existing water and museum field trip programs, preschool education series and Eco-Kayaking partnership, will result in a significant increase in the science learning opportunities for students in our region.

  • New Caterer’s Prep Area

When the calendar flipped to February work commenced on a new Caterer’s prep area, which will greatly aid our growing events business.  The work will include a reorganization of the existing catering work spaces (into a large single space), replacement of existing pipe and drape with permanent walls, and direct access to an already existing kitchen area.  Sometimes it’s the “little” things that make a huge difference.

  • Chowder Social and Auction

The Seaport will be celebrating our annual Chowder Social and Auction on Sunday, April 26 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  It’s a great opportunity for guests to spend an afternoon with friends on the waterfront – taste delicious chowders, enjoy, explore the Seaport and see what’s new.

We hope to introduce new friends to the Seaport and raise operating funds through both a silent and live auction, a Paddle Raise, and the always fun Dessert Dash.

  • Rails to Sails/Balfour Dock

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) #23 has supported the Seaport from our earliest visions of a restored Balfour Building and a robust Working Waterfront Maritime Museum.  We have a shared desire to memorialize the history of the Tacoma waterfront and along with that the role that labor has played on the ships and docks for well over a hundred years.  This month that support culminated in $80,000 of financial support toward the Heritage Boat Shop project and a refreshed and expanded exhibit of the Balfour Building.  The refreshed exhibit will include stories of the building, the wharf, and the workers who loaded the sailing ships.  

As your new Executive Director, my immediate goals are to develop new sources of funding for the Seaport, encourage creative programming with staff, build strong partnerships throughout the Puget Sound Region, and preserve the future of FWS beyond my years here.  I welcome your feedback and suggestions.


Brent Mason

Executive Director