Ocean Career: OAI Coastal Office Regulatory Support

Ocean Associates, Inc. (OAI) is seeking a candidate to support the West Coast Region (WCR) Oregon Washington Coastal Office (OWCO). OAI conducts research, offers policy advice, and provides personnel support services to government and industry clients for marine fisheries and protected species.


The WCR OWCO responsibilities focus on protecting species and their habitats along Washington and Oregon coasts, including Puget Sound and the lower Columbia and Willamette rivers and their tributaries. The OWCO works to protect species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act (MSA) Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) regulations by evaluating the impacts of proposed federal actions, developing and implementing recovery plans, seeking conservation partnerships with local governments and landowners, and ensuring safe fish passage through federal and some private dams.

The OWCO has a significant ESA section 7 interagency consultation workload. The consultation workload is highly varied and requires assistance in the conduct of ESA section 7 and EFH consultation and development of consultation documentation adhering to regional standards and developed according to regional procedures. In some instances, the OWCO relies on programmatic consultation to account for an extremely high number of repetitive consultations on similar actions in certain parts of its geography. Support services are required to provide ESA section 7 and EFH consultation support and review submissions under existing programmatic consultations with a variety of Federal action agencies and other partners.


The employee shall provide the following services throughout the period of performance, complete the following projects, and deliver them to the NMFS Project Leader no later than the end of each month for each line item:

  • Respond to inquiries from action agencies and their representatives or applicant, providing pre-consultation technical assistance to action agencies and their representatives or applicants during regular business hours.
  • Review consultation initiation packages for completeness and develop requests for further information sufficient to support initiating consultation under each statute, as needed.
  • Consult with action agencies and their representatives or applicants, ensuring action agency compliance with each statute, as needed.
  • Communicate with the Geographic Branch Chief for the assigning Branch in the OWCO to coordinate NMFS response to each consultation.
  • Prepare appropriate documentation for each consultation and follow West Coast Region protocol for quality assurance.
  • Regularly coordinate with the NMFS Geographic Branch Chief for the assigning geographic Branch on assignments and work products.

Start Date: ASAP

Location: Seattle, WA. Preferred, but work may also be performed remotely.

Salary and Benefits: This is a full-time position with benefits. Salary commensurate with experience.

Travel: Travel is anticipated in order to attend four mandatory Division meetings annually and other meetings or site visits occasionally. Location of origin for travel estimates will be Seattle, WA.


Bachelor’s degree, or higher, from an accredited college or university, with a major in a field of study related to the requirements of this task order with emphasis in fisheries, oceanography, social science, natural science, mathematics, or hydrology, plus five (5) years of experience in a related field or combination of such totaling nine (9) years combined education/experience. A Master’s Degree in a related field plus one (1) year of experience or a Ph.D. may be substituted for experience.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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