Southwest Section

The Southwest Section is co-located with the Southwest Region of the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in Long Beach, California. The office gives legal support to the Southwest Region and the Pacific Fishery Management Council. In addition, the NOAA Office of General Counsel, Enforcement Section, Southwest Region, prosecutes violations of the living marine resources statutes under the authority of the Secretary of Commerce. The substantive legal work of the Southwest Section mostly relates to the Endangered Species Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act ("Magnuson Act"), Marine Mammal Protection Act, Tuna Conventions Act, Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act, the High Seas Fishing Compliance Act, and the Federal Power Act. In recent years GCSW has increasingly focused on recovery of salmon protected under the Endangered Species Act and management of tuna and other pelagic species in the eastern and central pacific. The fishery management councils operate primarily under the Magnuson Act.

Like the other offices of the NOAA Office of General Counsel, the Southwest Section plays an inter-agency and intra-agency coordination role, working to ensure regional and council programs remain consistent with other parts of NOAA and other agencies. In addition to the programmatic statutes listed above, the office also supports both the NMFS Southwest Region and the councils in complying with related administrative laws such as the Administrative Procedure Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Executive Order 12866, etc. In providing advice under these statutes, GCSW coordinates closely with the Department of Commerce's Office of General Counsel.

The Southwest Section has four attorneys, one paralegal, and one administrative support staff. The Section Chief is Kathryn Kempton and the Deputy Section Chief is Deanna Harwood.


Contact Information

Southwest Section
NOAA, Office of General Counsel
Glenn Anderson Federal Building
501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4470
Long Beach, CA 90802
Telephone: 562/980-4080
Fax: 562/980-4084

Email contact list: