Kelp Program Manager (Environmental Planner 3) (Internal Only)

State of Washington

State of Washington

Mt Vernon, WA, USA
Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2023
An image without description

Please Note: This recruitment is open to current Department of Ecology employees and Ecology's 
Washington Conservation Corps members only. This includes employees working on temporary and project assignments at the Department of Ecology.

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

The  Northwest Straits (NWS) Commission is looking to fill the Kelp Program Manager (Environmental Planner 3) (Internal Only) position. 

This position will be located in our Padilla Bay Reserve in Mount Vernon, WA. Upon hire, you must live within a commutable distance from the duty station.

The Northwest Straits Commission is a governmental organization housed in the Department of Ecology’s Shorelands and Environmental Assistance (SEA) program and was established to protect and restore the unique, rich marine ecosystem of the Northwest Straits region of Puget Sound through a local-based approach. The Northwest Straits Commission provides resources, coordination and technical support to seven county-based Marine Resource Committees (MRCs) and carries out marine conservation projects throughout the Northwest Straits region.

In this position, you will independently manage the Northwest Straits Commission Kelp Program with general direction from the Northwest Straits Commission Marine Program Manager, which includes coordinating the Puget Sound Kelp Conservation and Recovery Plan. You will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with a wide range of partners, including local Marine Resources Committees, volunteers, Tribes, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and state, federal, and local agencies. You will also represent the NWS Commission on regional workgroups that consider how marine vegetation conservation fits into the scope of broader marine ecosystem issues. Deep experience will be gained and exercised in collaborative conservation approaches.   

Agency Mission: Ecology's mission is to protect, preserve and enhance the environment for current and future generations.   

Program Mission: The mission of the Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program is to create community conservation partnerships to protect and restore our shorelands, wetlands, and floodplains.

Please Note: This is a project position that is funded until June 30, 2025. Extension of this position is dependent upon annual funding.

Tele-work options for this position: This position will be eligible for up to a 90% tele-work schedule with in-office staff meetings occurring once to twice per month. Other in office work is performed as needed to support NWS Commission board, staff and programs. Additionally, travel throughout the Puget Sound region will be required as needed. Applicants with questions about position location options, tele-work, and flexible or compressed schedules are encouraged to reach out to the contact person listed below in “other information.” Schedules are dependent upon position needs and are subject to change.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:
Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s), Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Vacation, Sick, and other Leave*, 11 Paid Holidays per year*, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver,  Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP),  Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), Employee Assistance Program, Commute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader), Combined Fund Drive, SmartHealth *Click here for more information 

About the Department of Ecology

Protecting Washington State's environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We are a culture that is invested in making a difference. Join a team that is highly effective and collaborative, with leadership that embraces the value of people. To learn more, check out our Strategic Plan

Ecology cares deeply about employee wellness; we go beyond traditional benefits, proudly offering:

  • A healthy life/work balance by offering flexible schedules and telework options for most positions.
  • An Infants at Work Program that is based on the long-term health values of infant-parent bonding and breastfeeding newborns.
  • Continuous growth and development opportunities. 
  • Opportunities to serve your community and make an impact through meaningful work.

Our commitment to DEIR
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR) 
are core values central to Ecology’s work. We strive to be a workplace where we are esteemed for sharing our authentic identities, while advancing our individual professional goals and collaborating to protect, preserve, and enhance the environment for current and future generations.

Diversity: We celebrate and appreciate diversity; our unique perspectives and abilities enrich us all and lead to innovative approaches and solutions.
Equity: We champion equity, recognizing that each of us need different things to thrive.
Inclusion: We intentionally create and hold space so that we all have meaningful opportunities to participate and contribute to Ecology’s work.
Respect: We treat each other with respect and dignity, acknowledging the inherent worth of our diverse perspectives and lived experiences, even in times of uncertainty and disagreement.
We believe that DEIR is both a goal and an action. We are on a journey, honoring our shared humanity and taking steps to demonstrate our commitment to a vision where each of us is heard, seen, and valued. 


What makes this role unique? 

In this position, you will be the primary lead for the Northwest Straits (NWS) Commission Kelp Program. You will provide vital program and project planning and implementation support to a wide range of partners and work collaboratively with Northwest Straits Commission staff, board, and committees to align kelp program goals and objectives with other programmatic needs. Two unique aspects of this position include coordinating the Puget Sound Kelp Conservation and Recovery Plan, which is the guiding document for kelp conservation and recovery in Puget Sound; and coordinating a volunteer driven kelp monitoring project in partnership with local based Marine Resources Committees and other partners. You will navigate unique challenges as they help shape the Northwest Straits Commission kelp program within a grass-roots driven organization. 

What you will do: 

  • Independently manage the NWS Commission Kelp Program. This includes, but is not limited to planning, directing, and coordinating the Puget Sound Kelp Conservation and Recovery Plan and Marine Resources Committee kelp monitoring program.
  • Supervise the preparation of marine vegetation related plans and reports necessary to implement kelp plan and monitoring project objectives.
  • Communicate to and engage directly with a broad network of partners such as Tribes, state, federal, and local agencies, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and Marine Resources Committees.
  • Develop procedures for plans, reports and protocols necessary for implementing the Kelp Plan and monitor the project and communicate procedures with regional partners. 
  • Provide expertise, consultation, and conduct technical liaison on marine vegetation science and policy to the Northwest Straits Commission, seven county-based Marine Resources Committees, and regional partners including Tribes, state, federal, and local agencies, and NGOs. 
  • Represent the NWS Commission on a variety of marine vegetation related regional workgroups, such as the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program, Northeast Pacific Biodiversity Action Network (UN Ocean Decade Program), Puget Sound Partnership Marine Vegetation Implementation Strategy and Vital Sign workgroups, Department of Natural Resources Kelp Monitoring and Research Workgroup, etc. 
  • Coordinate with other state agencies to evaluate and integrate project updates and data into regional recovery efforts such as the Puget Sound Action Agenda, Puget Sound Vital Sign Indicator and SoundIQ.
  • Advise NWS Commission staff and board on kelp program strategies to align with regional marine conservation needs and emerging habitat data and conservation policy actions. 


Required Qualifications:
Years of required experience indicated below are full-time equivalent years. Full-time equivalent experience means that any experience where working hours were less than 40 hours per week will be prorated in order to meet the equivalency of full-time. We would calculate this by looking at the total hours worked per week, divide this by 40, and then multiply by the total number of months worked. Examples of the proration calculations are:

  • 30 hours worked per week for 20 months: (30/40) x 20 months = 15 months full-time equivalent
  • 20 hours worked per week for 12 months: (20/40) x 12 months = 6 months full-time equivalent
Experience for both required and desired qualifications can be gained through various combinations of formal professional employment, education, and volunteer experience. See below for how you may qualify.

Option One:

A Bachelor’s degree with a major emphasis in land use, urban, regional, environmental, or natural resource planning, landscape architecture, geography, land use or environmental law, public administration with an environmental emphasis, or closely related field.


Four years of professional experience in land use, urban, regional, environmental, or natural resource planning, and/or program development. 


Option Two:

A Master’s degree or above with a major emphasis in land use, urban, regional, environmental, or natural resource planning, landscape architecture, geography, land use or environmental law, public administration with an environmental emphasis, or closely related field. 


Two years of professional experience in land use, urban, regional, environmental, or natural resource planning, and/or program development. 

Option Three:

One year of experience as an Environmental Planner 2, at Department of Ecology.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment: 
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a valid driver’s license

Desired Qualifications:

We highly encourage you to apply even if you do not have some (or all) of the desired experience below.

  • Knowledge of governments, agencies, and organizations who play a role in marine vegetation policy and conservation, including volunteer based organizations.
  • Ability to communicate to a variety of people and organizations about the functions of the Northwest Straits (NWS) Commission and the Puget Sound Kelp Conservation and Recovery Plan.
  • Understanding the breadth of marine conservation issues in the Northwest Straits and Puget Sound and the role of Northwest Straits Initiative in that context.


Note: Having some (or all) of this desired experience may make your application more competitive in a highly competitive applicant pool.

Supplemental Information

Ecology seeks diverse applicants: We view diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect through a broad lens including race, ethnicity, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, military background, language, education, life experience, physical disability, neurodiversity, and intersectional identities. Qualified candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Need an Accommodation in the application and/or screening process or this job announcement in an alternative format?

  • Please call: (360) 407-6186 or email: and we will be happy to assist.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can reach the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.
  • If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up on the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.
  • If you are reading this announcement in print format, please enter the following URL to your search engine to apply:   
Application Instructions:

It's in the applicant's best interest to submit all of the documents listed below. Applications without these documents may be declined.

  • A cover letter describing why you are interested in this position.
  • A resume outlining your experience and education (if applicable) as it relates to the minimum qualifications of this position.
  • A list of three professional references.
Note: References will only be contacted during the final steps of the recruitment process for candidates selected as finalists. References will not be contacted without the candidate’s formal authorization.

Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.  
For Your Privacy:
When attaching documents to your application (such as Resume, Cover Letter, Transcripts, DD-214, etc.):

  • Please be sure to remove private information such as your social security number, date of birth, etc. 
  • Do not attach documents that are password-protected, as these documents may not be reviewed and may cause errors within your application when downloaded. 

Additional Application Instructions for Current Ecology Employees:

Please make sure to answer the agency-wide questions regarding permanent status as a classified employee within the Washington General Service or Washington Management Service. Do not forget to select Department of Ecology as a response to question 2, and type your personnel ID number for question 3. If you are not sure of your status or do not know your personnel ID number, please contact Human Resources.

Application Attestation: 

The act of submitting application materials electronically is considered affirmation that the information is complete and truthful. The state may verify this information and any untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of your application or dismissal if employed. 

Other Information:

If you have specific questions about the position, please email Dr. Lucas Hart at:  Please do not contact Lucas to inquire about the status of your application.
To request the full position description: email

Why work for Ecology?

As an agency, our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's environment for current and future generations. We invest in our employees to create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism, and accountability.

Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State's environment. A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping your health and financial security a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to life/work balance.

To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or our blog.

Collective Bargaining: This is a position covered by a bargaining unit for which the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is the exclusive representative.   

Equal Opportunity Employer: The Washington State Department of Ecology is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans, military spouses or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application/testing process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 407-6186. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.

Note: This recruitment may be used to fill other positions of the same job classification across the agency. Once all the position(s) from the recruitment announcement are filled, the recruitment may only be used to fill additional open positions for the next sixty (60) days.