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.
The Agreement seeks to advance the goals of:
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.
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.
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.