wash traffic commissionOLYMPIA - The Washington State Transportation Commission chose “Suquamish” as the name of the state’s fourth Olympic-class ferry at its meeting Wednesday, March 16.

The selection follows a public process in which the commission considered three eligible names – Cowlitz, Sammamish, and Suquamish – and sought input from Washington State Ferries, the Ferry Advisory Committee Executive Council, ferry riders and the general public.

“The Suquamish have a rich cultural and maritime history in the Salish Sea with their ancestral heartland encompassing the north end of Hood Canal and the Olympic Peninsula to Indian Island, the Kitsap Peninsula, and both sides of Admiralty Inlet to the Tacoma Narrows in the south,” said Commission Chairman Anne Haley. “It is fitting to name this vessel Suquamish since nearly all the contemporary Washington State Ferry System routes traverse historically documented Suquamish canoe travel corridors.”

The commission has guidelines that help determine the eligibility of a name proposal:

  • Names for ferries should carry statewide significance and represent our state’s image and culture.
  • Specifically, names should represent such things as: state adopted symbols, tribal names, names of bodies of water, geographic locations, cities, counties, relate to nautical heritage, etc.
  • Consideration will be given to the consistency with existing Washington State Ferries fleet names.
  • Names should have broad familiarity, are non‐offensive, and meet ethical standards.
  • Names with commercial overtones or names honoring or commemorating individuals should be avoided, but will be considered upon very careful review.

Many of the 23 vessels in Washington State Ferries’ fleet have names reflecting the state’s tribal, geographic and historic heritage. The most recently named vessels – Chimacum, Samish and Tokitae – are in keeping with that tradition. 

For more information on the Transportation Commission, visit its website:  www.wstc.wa.gov