Washington State Department of Ecology - May 30, 2013

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June 5 coastal advisory council meeting to focus on planning projects, new state law

June 5 coastal advisory council meeting to focus on planning projects, new state law OLYMPIA – At their June 5 meeting in Montesano, the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council will hear updates on marine spatial planning projects, a new state law that addresses marine resource policy, and the status of funding for marine spatial planning.

The public meeting will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Montesano City Hall, 112 N. Main St., Montesano. The meeting agenda has been posted by the Washington state Department of Ecology (Ecology).

Marine spatial planning is an approach adopted by the Washington Legislature to reduce conflicts among ocean uses and balance the benefits humans receive from the ocean while decreasing human-caused environmental damage.

This planning process collects, interprets and uses data to develop a plan that balances the needs and goals of the broader public, economy and marine environment. It brings together multiple users of Washington’s coastal resources to provide a framework for informed and coordinated decisions about how to use marine resources sustainably.

Ecology formed the advisory council in 2011 to advise the State Ocean Caucus, a team made up of state agencies with management roles or expertise in ocean and coastal issues. The unpaid advisory council provides local perspectives about, and information on, solutions to marine resource issues, projects and conflicts.

At its June 5 meeting, the council will get status reports and ask questions about several marine spatial planning projects.

Members also will hear reports regarding a new state law that goes into effect July 28. The measure will establish the advisory council in the Governor’s office. The council’s current membership will remain onboard.

The advisory council meets four to six times a year and members represent a wide array of coastal and ocean interests including county-based Marine Resources Committees, commercial and recreational fishing, shellfish aquaculture, conservation, economic development, education, local citizens, ports, scientific research and maritime shipping.

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Media Contacts:

Curt Hart, media relations, 360-407-6990; cell, 360-480-7908; curt.hart@ecy.wa.gov

Jennifer Hennessey, coastal planner, 360-407-6595; jennifer.hennessey@ecy.wa.gov

For more information:

Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/ocean/advisorycouncil.html)

Washington State Ocean Caucus (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/ocean/oceangroup.html)

Marine spatial planning (MSP) (www.msp.wa.gov/learn/)

MSP interactive website (www.msp.wa.gov/)

Marine Resources Committees

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)