The WSPA was founded by Richard Woodin in (I think) the 1970s. It was founded with the express purpose of fighting the impending closure of the Alpine Lakes in the Cascades to seaplanes for environmental reasons. Unfortunately, this fight was not won and the lakes were closed sometime in the later 1970s.
I heard about the group after getting my seaplane rating with Lana Kurtzer in 1980 or thereabouts. I attended a meeting at which, being the newest person there, Dick asked me if I'd be interested in taking over as president. I accepted and was president for the next several years. The one accomplishment I can take some credit for is organizing the response to a threat to close Lakes Roosevelt, Ross, Chelan, and Diablo to seaplanes, again for environmental (noise) reasons. We were successful in fending this closure off via a public input (letter writing) campaign, and today these lakes are all officially designated seaplane operations sites (they weren't before).
Sometime in the later 1980s Bob Hamilton moved to the area and contacted me about the group. I had gotten awfully busy at Boeing and with other pursuits and hadn't had the time to devote to the WSPA as I had in previous years. So when Bob asked if I would be okay with him taking an active role in the leadership of the organization I said more power to him. He subsequently became the president. I continued on in a role of Lake Union "monitor" as I'd been a member of the mayor's noise committee that over the course of a couple of years in the mid-'80s worked with the commercial seaplane operators and residents' organizations to hammer out the voluntary noise agreement-- flight patterns, hours of operation, etc.--- covering seaplane operations on Lake Union.
Bob built the organization up considerably and I'm sure you know the story from there..."
There is a lot of the story that I'm sure I don't know. However, I do know that this organization is for the purpose of keeping Washington Waterways Open. Since I've been a member I've seen attempts to close the San Juans to non-commercial operators. Lake Isabel has been an ongoing issue that hopefully will be resolved soon after many years of hard work. American Lake was almost closed, even though the SPB is all but gone, there is hope yet for the historical location. Lake Whatcom and the Floathaven SPB is also under constant threat of the neighbors and local government for closure. This is a ongoing process.
Recently we've added a new SPB in Olympia and Lake Curlew out in Ferry County. We've added a temporary SPB each July at Lake Goodwin for the Arlington NW EAA event. The private operator actually welcomes seaplanes. Straight float flyers now have access to our Capital City and the largest fly-in in the northwest.
by C. Marin Faure, author of Success on the Step, the story about Kenmore Air.