Meet Rich Deline, Director, Corps of Engineers Foundation

Meet Rich Deline, Director, Corps of Engineers Foundation


Rich Deline is the founder and key principal of Executive Productions-Seattle, a multimedia production company. Rich has worked as a consultant and contractor for the Corps nationwide, providing expertise in interpretation and technology for improving the visitor experience. Additionally he has helped prepare command briefings and presentations for numerous Seattle District Commanders. He has an intimate working knowledge of the Corps of Engineer’s Mission and Values from both inside and outside perspectives. Rich was graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Forestry Engineering and a minor in Civil/Mechanical Engineering, and continued with Masters program in Business and Marketing at Portland State University.

100 Years ago, the Locks and Ship Canal were built by Seattle and the Corps of Engineers as a commercial navigation route to develop the City of Seattle. Today the Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks are the Nation’s busiest with over 40,000 vessels/yr. Boats ‘lock thru’ 24 hours/day, except during maintenance.

Q: What is your job, job title and your job description?

A: My official job title is Director of the Corps of Engineers Foundation.

Q: Briefly explain what the Corps Foundation does:

A: The Corps Foundations is the only national non-profit dedicated to insuring the environmental health and recreational enjoyment of our nation’s lakes and waterways administered by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Q: What are some of the most common misconceptions about the Ballard Locks & what you wish everyone knew about the locks?

A: First, that the locks are not a City of Seattle operation. Since everything is free except City of Seattle parking outside the main gate, people assume it is run by the City. Boaters know better since they connect with the Lock wall attendants and see the Corps logo. Another misconception is that local city and state taxes help pay for Locks, they don’t. Strictly Federal taxes appropriated by Congress under the Department of Defense (U.S. Army). Lastly, the Locks funding is based on the value of commercial cargo, not boat traffic. Very arcane funding system which has resulted in the Locks wearing out and visitor educational information has become outdated and incorrect, leaving the 1.2 million visitor misinformed or simply not understanding what they are seeing.

Q: What is your favorite part about your job?

A: Seeing a huge gap in what needs to be done at the Locks and being able to fix it. My focus is on what I do best, fundraising and story telling using multimedia technology.

Q: What resources are available to boaters who are “locking through” for the first time?

A: There is a page on the Ballard Locks website specifically for first time boaters:

Q: If you weren’t working for the Corps of Engineers, what would you be doing & what are some of your hobbies?

A: I run a multimedia production business. Helping renovate the Locks is a personal passion. I have been too busy for many hobbies lately, but do take some time in the winter for downhill skiing and in the summer to catch salmon from the beach on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Ready to make your yacht dreams a reality?