Safe Harbor Agreement / NEPA Specialist

Ocean Associates

Ocean Associates

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 draft sections of Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents and review and edit sections produced by others so that the sections meet regulatory requirements. 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 CCO of NMFS’s WCR is signatory to the Shasta Safe Harbor Agreement (Shasta SHA), along with 14 landowners in the Shasta Valley within Siskiyou County California. The Shasta SHA is authorized by 14 Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 10 Enhancement of Survival Permits (ESPs) and a supporting ESA Section 7 consultation. The Shasta SHA is intended to promote the recovery of ESA-listed threatened Southern Oregon Northern California (SONNC) coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), on non-federal lands. In 2020, NMFS complied with NEPA by issuing an Environmental Assessment (EA)/Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). Following the issuance of the EA, Friends of Shasta River successful challenged NMFS’s NEPA analysis and the court required NMFS to issue an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the ESPs supporting the Shasta SHA. As such, all of the ESPs require NEPA review and approval by NMFS for continued implementation of restoration of coho salmon habitat on non-federal lands in the Shasta Valley. The NMFS review and determination processes require completion of several effects evaluation and determination documents consistent with ESA and NEPA requirements. The documents provide comprehensive scientific evaluations of listed fish effects associated with proposed restoration activities and routine land-use activities.


NMFS lacks sufficient staff needed to perform scientific writing and analyses required to complete ESA and NEPA effects evaluation and determination documents for the many HGMPs submitted by WDFW and the tribes. Therefore, NMFS seeks support to help draft sections of ESA and NEPA documents and review and edit sections produced by others so that the sections meet regulatory requirements. The employee shall work with NMFS staff to perform scientific evaluations and writing to complete draft and final versions of NEPA EIS required for the ESPs under the Shasta SHA. The employee shall assist revising draft versions of the documents prior to their finalization based on internal NMFS review, and review by the general public, Tribes and state agencies. The employee will work with NMFS staff in Arcata, California; Medford, Oregon; and NMFS affiliate in Weed, California.


  • Draft and complete NEPA and determination documents for the Shasta SHA
  • Edit draft versions of NEPA sections reviewed by NMFS staff and prepare them for review within the WCR, the co-managers, and the general public.
  • Respond to comments on the NEPA documents provided via internal review, by the co-managers, and/or by the general public.
  • Using the EIS and ESA document formats and approaches supplied by NMFS, and as guided by the NMFS Project Leader, compile information, provide analyses, draft materials for review, and perform revisions to the EISs and ESA documents.
  • Using NMFS NEPA style guides, provide technical and QA/QC reviews of EIS documents, provide word processing of draft and revised documents following NMFS internal review, and compile finished EIS documents for NMFS clearance.

Start Date: Contingent upon award of contract.

Location: Remote/Telework or on-site at the NMFS office in Arcata, CA

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 with five (5) years of relevant experience
  • Experience working with the National Environmental Policy Act
  • Previous experience preparing Environmental Impact Statements
  • Knowledge of salmon and steelhead life history, and Endangered Species 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.