Nelson named lawmaker of the year by statewide environmental organization

Sharon Nelson - Courtesy photo
Sharon Nelson
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Rep. Sharon Nelson (D-Maury Island) has been named the legislator of the year by Washington Conservation Voters (WCV), a statewide political group that works to support and elect environmentally friendly lawmakers and other office-holders.

Nelson, who will be honored at WCV's "Breakfast of Champions" at Seattle's Westin Hotel Thursday morning, said she was thrilled to receive the commendation.

"For a strong environmentalist, it's the highest honor," she said.

The organization named Nelson the state's top lawmaker because of her efforts to protect Maury Island — where Glacier Northwest has been working for more than a decade to obtain the permits it needs to build a barge-loading pier and expand sand and gravel extraction.

During the 2010 legislative session, Nelson was able to secure funds to help pay for a potential purchase of Glacier's 236-acre property on the eastern flank of Maury. The Cascade Land Conservancy is currently working with Glacier on a possible sale.

Nelson, working with a handful of other lawmakers, was able to get $15 million from the Asarco cleanup settlement account and the state toxics fund earmarked for a possible purchase.

Nelson, a two-term House member from the 34th District, is running unopposed for the Senate seat. She's seeking the position held by Sen. Joe McDermott, who is relinquishing the seat and seeking a spot on the King County Council.

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