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Joshua Berger
WCMAC Commerce Seat
Joshua started working at the Department of Commerce in November 2015 as the Economic Development Director for Washington’s maritime industry sector. Joshua brings a depth of business and economic development knowledge to his commerce seat on the WCMAC. He has been a recognized leader in several professional settings, as the Coordinator of the Washington Maritime Federation, the Maritime Sector Business Development Manager for the Seattle and King County Economic Development Council, the Program Director and Marine Operations Manager at The Evergreen State College, and the Regional and Network Coordinator for the Environmental Education Association of Washington. Joshua also worked in the towing industry and spent six years on the water with Sound Experience aboard the schooner Adventuress. With a lifelong passion for the marine transportation industry, Joshua is an excellent addition to the WCMAC.

Joshua Berger

What does marine spatial planning mean to you?
There is a confluence between our natural environment and human interactions and this is clearly shown along Washington’s Pacific coast where already we engage in so much activity. It is incumbent upon us to think clearly, critically, and inclusively to engage stakeholders on a plan, or guidelines, on how we continue to develop a sustainable approach to these interactions.

How and why did you get involved in the planning process?
As part of my role as the Governor’s Maritime Sector Lead, I act as the liaison, or conduit, between the diverse maritime sector and state agencies. I am also charged to set strategic direction for maritime economic development opportunities. The Washington Marine Coastal Advisory Council calls for representation from the Department of Commerce, therefore, it makes sense that I act as the representative.

What do you hope the WCMAC can accomplish with the Washington Marine Spatial Plan?
I hope the group can engage in meaningful dialogue to find concrete and agreed upon guidelines. We want to ensure that each of the ecological, economic, and cultural identities of the region are considered and find pragmatic ways in which we can accept new uses. This is an opportunity to sustainably develop new economic uses that will not only protect the resource but create prosperity and local jobs.

Anything else interesting about you?
Like many of those on the Advisory Council, I have spent many days and nights at sea along the Pacific coast. I have sailed as mate and engineer on coastwise tugs as well as been captain of several sailing ships that ply these waters. I feel strongly about the cultural and environmental value of the region and share it often with my children and visiting family. This is a unique, powerful, and sensitive area that we can manage well with integrity and progress.

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