Ocean Resources photo

Washington's Ocean Resources


State Ocean Caucus

The Governor's Office and state agencies work together, prioritize activities and improve management of Washington’s ocean resources through an interagency forum call the State Ocean Caucus. The Caucus communicates and coordinates their work with local, tribal, and regional governments, federal agencies, business and environmental interests, academic institutions and the general public.

State agencies working together:

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 leases.

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.

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.