Frequently Asked Questions
What is the West Coast Regional Planning Body?
The West Coast Regional Planning Body (RPB) is a partnership between U.S. federal agencies, the three West Coast states of Washington, Oregon and California, 13 federally-recognized tribal governments and the Pacific Fishery Management Council, focused on discussing existing and emerging uses of our ocean. The group initiated its dialog between federal, state and tribal governments in 2013, deciding to form an RPB in early 2015, and finalized a charter in early 2016. It is currently initiating enhanced stakeholder engagement and outreach throughout the West Coast.
What does the RPB do?
The RPB provides a regular forum for government co-managers to communicate and collaborate around existing and emerging uses of the ocean along the West Coast. The full RPB supports this dialog for the full region, while sub-regional planning teams are in various stages of development to discuss more local scale ocean uses and needs. Over time, the RPB has an option to develop sub-regional and/or regional "ocean plans" that would be agreed to by the full membership. The plans are not binding or legally enforceable in any way, but are intended to help provide predictability and transparency about how government entities can effectively plan for managing our oceans.
Is the RPB a regulatory body?
No. Nothing the RPB coordinates or produces has any regulatory or legal authority. The planning products the RPB may produce at a regional or sub-regional level is intended to inform coordinated ocean planning and governance between tribal, state and federal co-managers. The implementation of any component of a plan agreed to by the RPB is carried out through existing tribal, state and/or federal authorities on a voluntary basis.
Does the RPB manage fisheries?
No. The RPB coordinates closely with the Pacific Fishery Management Council, which has a seat on the RPB and manages fisheries along the West Coast of the U.S. through the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, but the RPB has no role in fisheries management.
How does the RPB meet? Are meetings open to the public?
Because of the scale of the RPB's membership throughout the West Coast, the members meet remotely on a monthly basis through a phone/web meeting interface. These monthly meetings are intended for representatives of member governments to discuss internal RPB matters and as a result do not include members of the public in real-time. However summaries of these calls are available on our website. In addition to our monthly calls, the RPB holds an annual in-person meeting that brings all members together, with the public highly encouraged to attend and provide comments and feedback to the RPB. Members of the public can also contact RPB staff at any time to provide feedback, ideas for outreach, or any other topics relevant to the RPB and West Coast ocean issues.