A new advisory group in Washington state designed to advise government agencies on issues facing the region’s marine waters and shorelines has been officially established through legislation recently signed by Gov. Jay Inslee.
Members of the group, called the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council, represent ocean and coastal interests for the Pacific coast, including commercial fishers, shellfish growers, conservationists, scientists, port authorities, and recreational and economic developers.
Industries dependent on Washington’s marine resources have long been pushing state lawmakers to take a more collaborative approach with the private sector, as well as with regional conservation groups, to manage coastal issues.
Doug Kess, the council’s chairperson, said in a statement that the group’s formation, “represents a significant advancement for the representation of coastal communities in the Marine Spatial Planning process and in the planning and regulation of coastal affairs. It provides us a greater degree of access and influence that many people have been striving to achieve for a long time.”