I wrote earlier this week about Gov. Chris Gregoire signing the capital budget, with more than $1 billion for projects around the state. That includes money for so-called Innovation Partnership Zones that capitalize on a regional specialty.
Apparently, Pierce County is to cleaning water what eastern Washington is to making wine.
Here’s what the Department of Commerce said in a news release today about the $3.6 million for the Tacoma Urban Clean Water Technology Zone:
Three new labs will be created with the Tacoma grant. Existing space at the University of Washington Tacoma will be converted into the Clean Water Innovation Development & Technology Transfer Laboratory. A shared use lab at the Center for Urban Waters will be used to develop new clean water technologies. The WSU Puyallup Salmon Toxicology Lab will be turned into a shared use Clean Water Technology Aquatic Toxicology Lab that allows researchers from the public and private sectors to study the effects of pollution and diseases on fish, aquatic insects and bivalves.
The release quotes Bruce Kendall, president and CEO of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, saying, “IPZs are engines of job creation at the local level.”
Those include $5 million for a wine research and education center:
The Tri-Cities Research District received funding to construct a new research and education facility in the heart of the area’s wine country, allowing Washington State to continue to solidify its position as the second leading wine producer in the United States. The new center will be constructed at the entrance to the Washington State University-Tri-Cities and Tri-Cities Research Zone.