Juvenile steelhead and chinook salmon
About Us

West Coast Regional Office

Protecting the region’s living marine resources and their habitats for productive and sustainable fisheries, safe sources of seafood, and the conservation of protected species, including iconic salmon and Southern Resident killer whales.

Our Location

Map of West Coast regional offices.
From floodplains to estuaries and nearshore habitats to kelp forests, NOAA Fisheries is responsible for the stewardship of our nation’s living marine resources and their habitats. The West Coast Region works within the coasts and watersheds of Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho. By covering 317,690 square miles of the eastern Pacific Ocean, and more than 7,000 miles of tidal coastline, as well as the ecological functions within the states’ vast rivers and estuaries, we build sustainable fisheries, recover endangered and threatened species, maintain healthy ecosystems, and protect human health.

What We Do

Sustainable Fisheries Division

The Sustainable Fisheries Division is responsible for the conservation of fisheries resources, including:

  • Sustainable fisheries management for long-term economic and social benefits.

  • Preventing overfishing.

  • Rebuilding any overfished populations.

  • Maintaining healthy stocks for commercial, recreational, and tribal harvest, collaboratively with the Pacific Fishery Management Council and state and tribal co-managers.

  • Maintaining the United States’ international obligations under treaties and agreements, and as parties to the commissions for salmon, tuna, halibut, and whiting, including the Pacific Salmon Treaty, Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, and others.

  • Upholding Indian trust responsibilities and treaty Indian fishing rights under judicial decisions.

  • Ensuring that fishing regimes and artificial production programs are consistent with the conservation of the Endangered Species Act-listed salmon and steelhead populations;

  • Administering the Tuna Tracking and Verification Program to monitor dolphin-safe labeling for tuna products sold in the United States.

  •  Administering Mitchell Act grants and agreements for hatchery production in the Columbia River Basin.

Protected Resources Division

The Protected Resources Division is responsible for the oversight, policy direction, guidance and coordination of management programs mandated by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.  Specifically, the division:

  • Serves as the regional lead to implement the ESA for the conservation of ESA-listed marine species, including developing regulations and management measures, conducting consultations, and developing recovery plans.

  • Conducts status reviews to determine if species warrant protection under the ESA or if ESA-listed species no longer need such protections.

  • Issues and monitors the implementation of research and incidental take permits.

  • Manages marine mammal and sea turtle stranding networks throughout the WCR.

  • Administers the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund in support of salmon and steelhead recovery plans and identified priority actions.

Area Offices

The WCR’s area offices—California Coastal, California Central Valley, Interior Columbia Basin, and Oregon and Washington Coastal—carry out integrated watershed-based approaches by focusing on the conservation of anadromous fish, their habitats, and the ecosystems on which they depend. Specifically, these offices:

  • Implement ESA Sections 4, 7, and 10; MSA essential fish habitat provisions; the Federal Power Act; and Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act in their geographic areas.

  • Consult with federal, tribal, and state agencies that authorize, fund, or undertake actions that may adversely affect ESA-listed species or EFH.

  • Consult on projects to improve fish passage, and provide technical assistance to states, tribes, and others seeking to improve habitat conditions for managed and ESA-listed species.

  • Develop and implement salmon, steelhead, and green sturgeon recovery plans, with a particular focus on habitat.

  • Develop science-based strategies and effective partnerships to recover and conserve WCR trust resources.

Regional Administrator’s Office 

The RAO establishes WCR policies, procedures, principles, and priorities. It also oversees and coordinates several cross-division activities, such as communications, aquaculture, and National Environmental Policy Act review that requires coordination among multiple offices and locations throughout the WCR.

The Communications & External Affairs team creates compelling stories/content, graphics, presentations, brochures, and literature that engage stakeholders, promote understanding of NOAA Fisheries’ trust resources, convey the science behind our decisions, and advance NOAA Fisheries’ mission. The team works with staff throughout the region to help share knowledge, build understanding, and recognize achievements from NOAA Fisheries stewardship activities  on the West Coast. Its expertise includes online information and design, intergovernmental relations, education, tribal relations, media relations, and social media.

Operations, Management, and Information Division 

The Operations, Management, and Information Division supports WCR operations through budget planning, formulation, and execution; human resources management (including Equal Employment Opportunity and diversity); oversight of administrative processes; management of information, information technology, and communications systems; and management of environmental compliance, travel, facilities, safety, and property.

Our Leadership

Barry Thom

Regional Administrator

Barry Thom has worked extensively on salmon recovery in the Columbia River basin and West Coast, including managing the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, and convening the Columbia Basin Partnership, a collaborative process to establish long-term goals for Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead. Barry is also the U.S. Commissioner to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, serving as head of the U.S. delegation and as lead U.S. negotiator responsible for potential resolutions for tuna and tuna-like species.

Scott Rumsey, Ph.D.

Deputy Regional Administrator

Dr. Scott Rumsey is the Deputy Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region. Scott has also served as the program manager for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund since 2009. Prior to his current role, Scott was the Portland (Oregon) Branch Chief for the Protected Resources Division, supervising Endangered Species Act status reviews, listing determinations, critical habitat designations, protective regulations, and scientific research permitting for West Coast marine and anadromous species.
Management Team
Directorate Office
Nicolle Hill

Associate Deputy Regional Administrator (Acting)

Sustainable Fisheries Division
Ryan Wulff

Assistant Regional Administrator (Acting)

Protected Resources Division
Chris Yates

Assistant Regional Administrator

California Central Valley Office
Maria Rea

Assistant Regional Administrator

California Coastal Office
Lisa Van Atta

Assistant Regional Administrator

Interior Columbia Basin Office
Michael Tehan

Assistant Regional Administrator

Oregon Washington Coastal Office
Kim Kratz

Assistant Regional Administrator

Operations, Management and Information Division
Jerry Hornof

Assistant Regional Administrator (Acting)