OLYMPIA – An advisory council that provides a coastal perspective on Washington’s ocean policies has been signed into law by Gov. Jay Inlsee.
Under Senate Bill 5603, the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council will be written into state statute. The council was created by the Department of Ecology in 2011 as a stakeholder group comprised of representatives from coastal industries. SB 5603, sponsored by Sen. Brian Hatfield, will allow the governor to appoint representatives to advocate for the best interests of coastal communities and industries.
“Washington’s ocean policies have the biggest impact on coastal communities. The creation of the advisory council gave those communities a voice,” said Hatfield, D-Raymond. “The passage of this bill gives the council a little more clout and ensures that the opinions of fishermen and shellfish growers, hotel and bed and breakfast owners and port and shipping interests will help shape the future of Washington’s coastline.”
The creation of the statute would bring more than a dozen representatives of coastal industries together to work with representatives from the governor’s office and five state agencies. Together they could create an open dialog and make recommendations on state, local and tribal policies dealing with coastal waters issues, including resource management, fisheries, shellfish aquaculture and ocean energy.