Get to Know Us

Our Story

In 2007, the Coast Salmon Partnership was formed through the same gritty determination that salmon exhibit on their annual return to the spawning grounds. From up and down the Washington Coast, Lead Entities, tribes, cities, counties, ports, and nonprofit organizations voluntarily came together with a unique goal: to protect and restore rivers, salmon and coastal fishing communities before they were destroyed.

Traditionally, we spend a lot of money and effort to help salmon and other important wildlife only after they are in critical decline. These herculeun efforts usually kick in when a species’ habitat – be it a forest, wetland, river or high meadow has been damaged nearly beyond repair. Recreating these habitats or restoring what’s left then becomes exorbitantly expensive, with heavy demands on landowners and governments.

Washington’s coast represents our last best chance to protect salmon in a more cost-effective way. The coast’s wild rivers are supported by ample standing forests and park lands, and are bisected by very few dams. As a result, these rivers are home to half of the state’s non-endangered salmon populations. Rivers on the Coast have salmon runs smaller in size than before European settlement, but they are not in immediate danger of collapse.

Our visionaries recognized that if we combine our efforts as a united force to protect the best and restore the rest, we have a fighting chance of keeping our salmon and steelhead populations from becoming endangered. We make a joint, upfront investment, to protect existing habitat and restore degraded habitat on the best remaining salmon runs in the state. As an added bonus, we do it all for far less than the cost of trying to rescue endangered salmon runs elsewhere.

Where We Work

From Cape Flattery in the North to Cape Dissapointment in the South, including all waters that drain directly into the Pacific Ocean, the Washington Coast Salmon Recovery Region  spans nearly 4 million acres. Our coastal rivers produce the most abundant and diverse wild Pacific salmon populations in the continugous United States, and are home for 50% of Washington State’s strongest unlisted runs.

Our Mission

To protect some of the last best salmon and steelhead populations in the contiguous United States and to restore the rest.

Our Vision

All watersheds in the Washington Coast Region contain healthy, diverse and self-sustaining populations of salmon, maintained by healthy habitats and ecosystems, which also support the ecological, cultural, social, and economic needs of human communities.

Regional Sustainable Salmon Plan

In 2013, we completed the Washington Coast Sustainable Salmon Plan to guide our work in the coming years. A copy of that plan is available here.

Our Lead Entities

Quinault Indian Nation Lead Entity

The Quinault Indian Nation Lead Entity coordinates salmon habitat restoration in Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 21, which runs along the Pacific Coast of the Olympic Peninsula and encompasses 755,674 acres. The area includes the Copalis, Clearwater, Moclips, Queets, Quinault, and Raft river watersheds as well as a dozen smaller tributaries.

North Pacific Coast Lead Entity

The North Pacific Coast Lead Entity is comprised of Watershed Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 20. The area encompasses 935,250 acres that drain into the Pacific Ocean and more than 80 miles of coastline from Cape Flattery south to the Steamboat Creek drainage of the Hoh River basin.

Chehalis Basin Lead Entity

The Chehalis Basin Lead Entity is comprised of Watershed Resource Inventory Areas (WRIA) 22 and 23. The Chehalis Reiver basin is the second largest watershed in the state. Within the 2,600 square miles that make up the basin, there are more than 3,300 miles of rivers and streams. The Chehalis River starts in the Willapa Hills and flows downstream to the Grays Harbor estuary and the Pacific Ocean

Willapa Bay Lead Entity

The Willapa Bay Lead Entity’s encompasses Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 24. It’s primary watershed is the Willapa basin, which covers more than 1,000 square miles and includes the Willapa Bay Estuary with over 270 miles of shoreline. In total, there are roughly 745 streams encompassing over 1,470 linear stream miles in the basin.

Our Board of Directors

We are led by a dedicated Board of Directors with representation from each of the four Lead Entities. The Citizen Committees for each Lead Entity is comprised of representatives from the following organizations:

North Pacific Coast Lead Entity

  • Citizens
  • Makah Tribe
  • Quileute Tribe
  • Hoh Tribe
  • Clallam County
  • Jefferson County
  • City of Forks
  • Pacific Coast Salmon Coalition

Quinault Indian Nation Lead Entity

  •  Quinault Indian Nation Land and Natural Resources Committee

Chehalis Basin Lead Entity

  • Basin Citizens
  • Chehalis Tribe
  • Quinault Indian Nation
  • Lewis County Conservation District
  • Grays Harbor Conservation District
  • Mason Conservation District
  • Chehalis River Basin Land Trust
  • Wild Fish Conservancy
  • Chehalis Basin Fisheries Task Force
  • Creekside Conservancy
  • Grays Harbor County
  • Lewis County
  • Thurston County
  • Chehalis River Council

Willapa Bay Lead Entity

  • Basin Citizens
  • Pacific Conservation District
  • Pacific County
  • City of Ilwaco
  • Chinook Tribe
  • Coast Oyster
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Willapa Regional Fisheries Enhancement Group
  • Pacific County Anglers

Our Staff

Mara Zimmerman

Executive Director

Dr. Zimmerman joined the Coast Salmon Partnership in January of 2019. Her career has been dedicated to the study and conservation of fish and their habitats.  She holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Michigan and has previously worked in natural resource management in North Carolina, Michigan, and Washington states. At the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Mara worked to bring the best available science to large-scale habitat restoration projects, fisheries management, and salmon monitoring programs throughout western Washington. She feels very fortunate to focus on the fishes and rivers of the Washington coast and enjoys working with local partners towards a future of sustainable and healthy salmon. Outside of work, she returns to the rivers and mountains where she enjoys fishing, hiking, backpacking, and photography.



Program Director



Administrative Assistant

University of Washington Olympia Natural Resource Center Affiliates

Richard W. Osborne, PhD.

Science Director

Rich Osborne is currently the Aquatic Program Manager with the University of Washington Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks. In that role he also serves as the Science Director for the Coast Salmon Partnership, and the Coordinator of the Olympic Region Harmful Algae Bloom Monitoring Partnership (ORHAB).

Prior to moving with his family to Joyce on the Olympic Peninsula in 2007, Rich was the Research Curator at The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor (1981-2003), and it’s Executive Director (2004-2006).  During his thirty years living in the San Juan Islands, Rich primarily studied orca behavior and acoustics and helped pioneer the Orca Adoption Program, the Soundwatch Boater Education Program, and coordinate the San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network.  From 2002 to 2006 Rich also served as a Lecturer and Independent Investigator at the UW Friday Harbor Labs.  

Rich received his bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College, his master’s from Western Washington University, and his PhD in Physical Geography and Resource Management from the University of Victoria where his thesis focused on the historical ecology and management of the Southern Resident Orca population.

Outside of work Rich enjoys kayaking, hiking and tinkering on their 10 ¼ acre homestead.

Rebekah Brooks

Habitat Work Schedule Technician

Kimberly Clark

Habitat Work Schedule Technician

Keven Bennett

GIS Analyst


The Coast Salmon Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Washington State with programmatic activities on the outer Washington Coast. The home office is located in Aberdeen, Washington.

Program Director. The Program Director is the technical lead responsible for advancing salmon recovery and watershed health in the Washington Coast Salmon Recovery Region. This is a full-time exempt position. Salary range is from $60,000 to $80,000 per year. The position involves approximately 5-7 days of travel per month within the coast region. The position includes paid holidays, sick leave, and vacation leave and is eligible for group health and retirement benefits. Application deadline is April 7, 2019.  

Click here for more information on how to apply for the Program Director position.