HGMP, ESA, and NEPA Technical Writing Support

Ocean Associates

Ocean Associates

IT, Customer Service
Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2024

If you are unable to complete this application due to a disability, contact Ocean Associates at 703-388-9548 to ask for an accommodation or an alternative application process.

Ocean Associates Inc. (OAI) is seeking an applicant to support the California Coastal Office (CCO) of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) West Coast Region (WCR) in helping create both Hatchery Genetic Management Plans (HGMPs) and Fishery Management Plans (FMPs). OAI is a Virginia corporation established in 2003 that provides consulting and technical services to the U.S. government, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and the private sector. We specialize in scientific program and project management, strategic planning, professional and technical services, and stakeholder engagement, supporting government contracts. We are seeking applicants for this position prospectively, which is dependent upon contract award.


The WCR of NMFS works in Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho and implements several regulations, including the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The WCR ensures the productivity and sustainability of fisheries and fishing communities through science-based decision-making and compliance with regulations, and to recover and conserve protected resources including marine mammals, sea turtles, and fish. The WCR is seeking contractor support to help with the implementation of the ESA and NEPA.

The NMFS CCO together with salmon resource co-managers, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), and others participate in Hatchery Technical Teams (HTTs) which assemble, organize, and apply the best available scientific information in providing guidance and recommendations to improve anadromous hatchery operations, reduce hatchery impacts to natural populations, and support commercial, recreational, and tribal fisheries. Hatchery programs within the CCO are largely implemented to provide adult fish for harvest in state fisheries, as mitigation for lost natural-origin salmonid production in the region, and/or are also implemented to preserve and recover salmon and steelhead populations that are at risk of extirpation. There are several ESA-listed "threatened" anadromous salmonid populations under NMFS regulatory purview that may be affected by operation of these hatchery programs. As such, these programs require HGMPs under the ESA with review and approval by NMFS to ensure their effects ("takes") do not jeopardize the continued existence and recovery of listed salmon and steelhead


The NMFS review and determination processes require completion of HGMPs which identify program goals and operations, performance standards and identification of indicators, associated monitoring, and identification of future research to study and adaptively manage various program elements. Additionally, FMPs are required for programs which provide fish for recreational harvest. Permits are issued following development of these documents, following appropriate environmental evaluation including NEPA requirements. Support is necessary to complete these technical tasks which program staff cannot be redirected from other high priority work to complete.


  • Attend regular Hatchery Technical Team (HCT) and Advisory Team (TAC) meetings with co-managers to incorporate recommendations in developing/revising/editing planning documents for Salmonid hatchery programs. Take and submit notes to the NMFS project officer regarding comments, edits, additions and modifications to be made.
  • Assist with the drafting/revising of HGMP’s, and FMP documents, and to perform technical editing, update and revisions of existing documents to ensure they are well- written and legally defensible, for co-manager (e.g. CDFW, US Corps, Tribes and others) to review prior to the responsible agencies submitting to NMFS.
  • Work with NMFS and co-managers in drafting/modifying of HGMP/FMP chapters utilizing the NMFS template for HGMP’s/FMP’s describing the program objectives, operations, purpose, and effects, performance standards and indicators, broodstock origin, identity, collection and mating protocols, incubation, rearing and release mechanisms and monitoring/research.
  • Under the guidance of HCT’s and TAC’s, independently write and edit ESA HGMP and FMP documents for CCO area hatchery programs and associated fisheries. Review and edit draft ESA HGMP and FMP documents to create clarity and logical flow of analysis, and incorporate model write-ups and alternatives into appendices. Address and incorporate comments from NMFS, HCT’s, States, Tribes, responsible agencies and the general public to complete final versions of the documents.
  • Incorporate recommendations from the HCT/TAC in revising draft versions of the documents and submit for co-manager review and approval, prior to the finalization of draft documents.
  • Revise HGMP’s to develop and draft alternatives and recommendations to resolve specific fishery/hatchery management issues, research and recommend solutions to address invasive/nuisance species treatment/exclusion plans, and recommend revision to operations (e.g. release/collection protocols) to improve progress towards performance standards, and adaptively manage operations based on monitoring results in accordance with Co-manager and NMFS and WCR policies, procedures, and priorities.
  • Review reports, draft comments, and write technically and legally-sound ESA and NEPA documents that meet the standards of scientific journals, NMFS and DOC policies, and government plain language requirements; This includes reviewing HGMP’s/FMP’s, biological survey and monitoring data and reports, and other scientific documents to determine the severity and duration of chemical, physical, and biological effects anticipated to occur as a result of the action.
  • Coordinate with applicants and internal and external experts to develop strategies to effectively minimize impacts and resolve regulatory and ecological issues with applicants.
  • Additional support may be required on section 7 consultations, recovery planning, habitat conservation plans, monitoring strategies, conservation banking, and safe harbor agreements.

Start Date: Contingent upon award of contract.

Location: Remote/Telework

Travel: Travel is expected. Employee travel shall be required to attend meetings and perform site visits. Location of travel to be determined once meetings are scheduled.

Salary and Benefits: This is a full-time position with benefits. Salary, commensurate with experience, between $30 - $50 per hour.


  • A Bachelor’s degree in a related field (e.g. fisheries, oceanography), plus four (4) years of relevant experience. Master’s degree in related field or Ph.D. preferred.
  • Experience in policy and analysis related to fisheries or other renewable natural resources.
  • Ability to articulate both in the written word and orally biological and policy information to technical audiences.
  • Ability to work independently, and be solution-oriented and a self-starter.
  • Knowledge of salmon and steelhead hatchery and harvest fishery programs, their objectives, and their effects on natural-origin fish populations.
  • Experience working with the National Environmental Policy Act.
  • Basic computer skills (MS Office, etc.).
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work effectively both individually and collaboratively in a team/group setting.
  • Ability to receive constructive feedback and implement appropriate action.

If you are interested in being considered for this position, please APPLY THROUGH OUR ADP WEB PORTAL, AT THE LINK AT THE TOP RIGHT OF THIS PAGE.

Only qualified applicants that meet minimum experience or background requirements stated above need apply. When applying for this position you will be asked to upload your resume at the end of this online application.

Applicants should submit a resume that includes the following:

  • Cover letter that briefly describes how you meet the required and preferred qualifications listed.
  • Work history for past 10 years or since last full-time education.
  • Education.
  • Previous experience or training with similar requirements.
  • Three professional references.
  • Include your name in the document file name.
  • Upload your resume in readable, not scanned, PDF or Word format (PDF is preferred).

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States, complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire, and successfully complete a federal government background check. Ocean Associates Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law.

OAI is a government contractor and is required by law to invite applicants to self-identify their race, gender, national origin, disability status and veteran status. OAI is required to use the information it collects as part of its future affirmative action efforts in hiring. The information is collected anonymously by computer and is not connected to your application. You will see a place to check certain boxes in OAI's online application. Even though the information is anonymous, self-identification is voluntary. You can always check the box that says you decline to self-identify.

Note: If you are not selected, your materials may be retained for present or future opportunities. We may use your resume in bidding on a project and if we are awarded the work, we will contact you before seeking further applicants. If you do not wish us to retain or use your resume to seek work for you, please let us know in the "Notes" section on the second page of the online application.