About Us


On September 18, 2006 the Governors of California, Oregon and Washington announced the West Coast Governors' Agreement on Ocean Health. The Agreement, now called an Alliance, launched a new, proactive regional collaboration to protect and manage the ocean and coastal resources along the entire West Coast, as called for in the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission.Quileute marina
The Agreement seeks to advance the goals of:
  • Clean coastal waters and beaches
  • Healthy ocean and coastal habitats
  • Effective ecosystem-based management
  • Reduced impacts of offshore development
  • Increased ocean awareness and literacy among the region’s citizens
  • Expanded ocean and coastal scientific information, research, and monitoring
  • Sustainable economic development of coastal communities
The Alliance also underscores the importance of managing activities that affect our oceans on an ecosystem basis. That is, managing human activities and their impact on ocean resources in a way that accounts for the relationships among all ecosystem components, including people and other species and the environment in which we all live.

Agency Leads

The Executive Committee of the WCGA is comprised of three state leads, including the offices of the Governors of California, Oregon, and Washington, and three federal leads, including the Department of Commerce (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of the Interior (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management).The Executive Committee informs and helps guide the timely progress of the Action Coordination Teams on activities in the WCGA Action Plan

At the request of the three Governors, the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and its Cabinet Committee on Ocean Policy (COP), James L. Connaughton, pledged to support meaningful collaboration among the West Coast states and federal agencies to address the priorities of the West Coast Governors’ Agreement on Ocean Health. Working through the COP’s Subcommittee on Integrated Management of Ocean Resources, three federal leads were appointed for this purpose.

Seal of the State of CaliforniaCalifornia
Catherine Kuhlman, Deputy Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Matters
California Natural Resources Agency

NOAA logo

Department of Commerce
John Stein, Science and Research Director, NW Fisheries

Science Center
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Seal of the State of OregonOregon
Gabriela Goldfarb, Natural Resources Policy Advisor
Office of the Governor

EPA logo Environmental Protection Agency
Sam Ziegler, Watersheds Office Manager
EPA Region

Seal of the State of Washington
JT Austin, Policy Advisor on Natural Resources for Governor Jay Inslee


Department of Interior Logo Department of the Interior
Joan Barminski, Regional Supervisor, Strategic Resources
Pacific OCS Region
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

In addition, in 2010, the WCGA partnered with National Sea Grant to hire four fellows to advance ocean and coastal health on the West Coast.