Ocean Career: Policy Analyst/Policy Support Specialist at Cardinal Point Captains

Cardinal Point Captains, Inc. (CPC) is seeking an experienced and qualified individual to serve as a Policy Analyst/ Policy Support Specialist to support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. The ONMS serves as the trustee for a network of marine protected areas encompassing more than 620,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters from Washington State to the Florida Keys, and from Lake Huron to American Samoa. Important habitats like breeding and feeding grounds of whales, sea lions, sharks and sea turtles; coral reefs; kelp forests; and historic shipwrecks are represented within the system of sanctuaries. ONMS is responsible for identifying, designating, and managing ocean and Great Lake areas of special national significance as national marine sanctuaries.

Management of sanctuaries is composed of a number of components, such as legislation, regulations, management plans, permitting, conservation policy, and strategic planning. The ONMS headquarters are the command center for the ONMS and provides support and advice to all parts of the sanctuary system.


Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Support the management and operation of the ONMS sanctuary advisory councils and reserve advisory council, acting as the National Advisory Council Coordinator to develop recommended approaches and materials, including draft policies, documents, and responses to data calls.
  • Lead the Business Advisory Council, composed of business, industry, and non-profit representatives in the recreation and tourism sector. Develop agendas, coordinate meetings, and provide staffing support to the council.
  • Ensure all councils and working groups are developing agendas and recommendations that comply with national policy, including, but not limited to, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.
  • Promote and improve advisory council cross-communication, including information exchange among and between council coordinators, regions, ONMS leadership and advisory council members.
  • Analyze legislation, regulations, and executive orders to determine impact on national marine sanctuaries program operations and management pursuant to the National Marine Sanctuaries Act and other related environmental regulations. Provide recommendations on policies, legislation, or executive actions, or in response to these actions.
  • Provide coordination support for resource protection and permitting crosscut groups, including draft policies, documents, and responses to data calls.
  • Provide technical expertise and analytical support for the development and coordination of activities associated with the national permitting and interagency consultation programs pursuant to the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA). This analytical support includes assessment of actions requiring ONMS permits or NMSA section 304(d) consultations across the National Marine Sanctuary System. Develop recommendations for permit issuance, permit terms and conditions, consultation requirements, environmental compliance, administrative records, and record tracking and reporting. Support revisions to the ONMS Permit Handbook and help maintain/implement the ONMS permit database.
  • Provide support to National Marine Sanctuary site staff in developing Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) restoration plans, as well as review and revision for the Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program.


  • Master’s degree (MA/MS) in Marine Science, Biology, Oceanography, GIS, Remote Sensing, or a related field, plus a minimum of 4 years of directly related experience.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication.
  • Experience working with federal government and state agencies.
  • Experience conducting analyses of coastal and marine policy issues, providing management and program support services, acquiring and synthesizing information from a variety of sources, and developing mission-advancing recommendations regarding legislation, internal operations, processes, and strategic planning.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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