State Ocean Caucus
The Governor's Office and state agencies are acting on the
recommendations in Washington’s Ocean Action Plan, including
involving local and tribal governments, stakeholders, and the
general public. The State Ocean Caucus (SOC) provides a way for
state agencies to work together to prioritize activities and
solve problems related to the ocean environment.
Who is on the State Ocean Caucus?
The following state agencies participate on the State Ocean
- Department of Agriculture
- Serves as state lead for Spartina elimination,
and invasive pest species control.
- Department of
- Works with local businesses to retain or expand their
employment and operations in Washington. Includes: energy
policy, economic development, and growth management.
- Department of Ecology
- Protects, preserves and enhances Washington’s
environment, and promotes the wise management of our air,
land and water for the benefit of current and future
generations. Includes: water quality, pollution control, oil
spills, shoreline management, coastal erosion, flood
management, watersheds, and wetlands.
Department of Health
- Ensures fish and shellfish are safe to eat, beaches are
safe for swimming, and on-site sewage systems are properly
managed. Includes: biotoxins (Harmful Algal Blooms) and
contaminants in fish and shellfish, water quality at
recreational beaches, and wastewater treatment.
- Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Conserves fish and wildlife and their habitats to
promote biodiversity and ensure sustainability into the
future. Includes: fish and shellfish harvest (commercial and
recreational fishing), derelict fishing gear, marine
wildlife, aquatic invasive species, and ballast water.
Department of Natural Resources
- Works on behalf of the people of the state to make sure
that the state's aquatic lands are productive, healthy, and
sustainably managed. Includes: derelict vessels, aquatic
reserves, nearshore habitat, harbors, and aquatic land
- Military Department’s
Emergency Management Division
- Works to minimize the impact of emergencies and
disasters on the people, property, environment, and economy
of Washington State.
- Office of Financial Management’s Executive Policy Office
- Develops proposals to support policy and legislative
goals and initiatives of the Governor and executive branch
agencies; coordinates interagency activities related to
ocean management issues, and interagency activities with
coastal communities; and reviews and analyzes legislation.
Includes: representing the state in regional and
international partnerships such as the Olympic Coast
Intergovernmental Policy Council and West Coast Governors’
Agreement on Ocean Health.
- Puget Sound Partnership
- Acts as the lead state entity for Puget Sound including
policy, funding, and action agenda implementation.
- State Parks and Recreation Commission
- Manages Seashore Conservation Area along the Washington
Coast and numerous marine access parks on the Washington’s
Coast and in Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and San
Juan Islands; provides marine interpretation, education, and
conservation programs to the public.
- Washington Sea Grant
- Supports university-based research, outreach and
education - funds marine research, shares university
resources and expertise with local communities and
stakeholders, offers graduate fellowships and K-12 program
support, and communicates information to strengthen
understanding of the marine environment.
Coastal Marine Resources Committees are also invited to send
their chair or elect an alternate to attend regular state ocean
Contact information for State Ocean Caucus representatives.
What does the State Ocean Caucus do?
The State Ocean Caucus’ tasks include:
- Develop and implement a
detailed work plan
to act on the recommendations in, "Washington's Ocean Action
Plan: Enhancing Management of Washington State's Ocean and
- Communicate and coordinate with local, tribal, and
regional governments, federal agencies, business and
environmental interests, academic institutions, and the
general public including hosting outreach
meetings in coastal communities and soliciting feedback
on state activities.
- Advise state activities and execute the work plan.
- Identify and recommend necessary budget resources.
For more details on the State Ocean Caucus, please review the
attached document which further outlines the mission, goals, and
the purpose of the group (Mission
and Goals). The documents section provides
updated materials from state ocean caucus activities, including the work plan,
reports, and presentations.
Jennifer Hennessey, 360-407-6595
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