JAMES R. CHAMBERS
EXPERIENCE
2004-2010 - Founder and Owner of Prime Seafood, a wholesale distributor of sustainable seafood (including king and sockeye salmon, halibut, sablefish, yellowfin tuna, wreckfish, king crab, blue crab, sea scallops, oysters, clams, shrimp and other premium fish and shellfish products) to about 70 top restaurants in Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas.   See www.PrimeSeafood.com for details.

1998-2010 - Principal of Chambers and Associates.  Directs the activities of a scientific consulting firm specializing in the conservation of marine fish.  It provides consulting services to a range of private sector clients interested in national and international marine fisheries conservation and management.  Acts as expert witness in litigation and helps clients evaluate major water resource development projects and policy. Conducts scientific assessments and policy evaluations of nationally significant water resource development projects and marine fishery issues.  Develops articles and reports on trends in the abundance, distribution, and life histories of Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS), including swordfish, marlins, sailfish, tunas and sharks.  Develops policy positions on agency fishery management plans for Atlantic HMS, regulations and the need for improved federal legislation.  Authored the petition to the Secretary of Commerce to have Atlantic white marlin "listed" as "threatened" or "endangered" and then protected under the Endangered Species Act.

1998 - Fisheries Biologist, National Audubon Society, Living Oceans Program.  Responsible for national policy analysis and development concerning the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and implementation of the conservation provisions of the Sustainable Fisheries Act by the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils.  Presented testimony before the Councils on their proposed Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) and Amendments.  Met with members of Congress, Congressional staff and senior policy level officials of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).  Represented Audubon on the Marine Fish Conservation Network's Board of Advisors.  Co-authored several successful fund-raising grant proposals, which totaled over $1.3 million.
1996-1997 - Fishery Management Specialist, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, NMFS Headquarters, Silver Spring, MD.  Responsible for managing the development, scientific analyses and preparation of FMPs and their Amendments, proposed and final regulations to implement FMPs, Environmental Impact Statements (EISs), Regulatory Impact Reviews and related policy necessary for the Secretary of Commerce to manage and conserve all U.S. highly migratory species (tunas, swordfish and billfish).  Authored Draft Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Swordfish FMP and EIS and a Report to Congress on Atlantic Bluefin Tuna.
1994-1996 - Policy Analyst (Science), Policy and Coordination Office, NMFS.  As staff to the NMFS Director (Assistant Administrator for Fisheries), provided scientific expertise in the evaluation of national programs and the development of long-range policy concerning research, management, and habitat conservation.
1988-1993 - Senior Staff Ecologist, Office of Habitat Protection, NMFS.  Appointed by the Assistant Secretary of Commerce to lead two NOAA task forces established to develop strategic plans to guide NOAA resource management and science programs involved with coastal ecosystems' health (e.g., NMFS' habitat programs, Sea Grant, NOAA's Environmental Research Laboratories, Coastal Zone Management, Marine Sanctuaries, Estuarine Research Reserves, Coastal Ocean Program, Damage Assessment and Restoration, Status and Trends, Strategic Assessments, and others) which together were funded at over $100 million per year.  One task force produced "NOAA's Investment in Coastal Environmental Quality," a framework that establishes a vision and defines an agency agenda for action to protect U.S. coastal ecosystem health.  A second task force produced the "NOAA Habitat Strategic Plan," which identifies the major habitat threats to U.S. living marine resources (i.e., alteration of freshwater flows, physical habitat alteration, toxics, and nutrient over-enrichment) and provides detailed direction for conducting supporting research and effectively influencing other agencies whose policies and programs can affect ecosystem quality.  Delivered over 50 presentations at national  and regional conferences on nationwide trends in habitat degradation and associated declines of marine fish populations;  wrote several papers documenting such trends and establishing the dependence of U.S. marine fish and shellfish on inshore and freshwater habitats at risk.
1986-1988 - Leader of NMFS' National Habitat Research Program.  As Chief of the Conservation Science Division (and its predecessor, the National Fishery Ecology Program), provided national leadership and policy direction for all of NMFS' habitat-related research divisions (approximately 300 scientists and support staff with a combined annual budget of $16 million) focusing primarily on wetland habitat functions, alteration of freshwater flows, contaminants, and nutrient over-enrichment.  Served as principal advisor to NMFS' Director on the scientific and technical aspects of habitat protection and restoration, endangered species and marine protected areas.  Developed national guidance and policies for NMFS' fishery ecology research programs, which gather the information required to manage, conserve and restore habitats important to U.S. living marine resources.
1984-1985 - Fisheries Biologist, National Habitat Research Program.  Responsible for representing NMFS in NOAA-wide policy development and program planning, and co-developing plans for a special $3.6 million appropriation for habitat conservation.  Managed the National Benthic Surveillance Project (NMFS' component of the NOAA Status and Trends Program), a national research and monitoring program conducted by a team of 50 NMFS scientists to define contaminant levels in sediment and fish tissues and detect the extent of contaminant-induced disease in representative species in order to assess the health of the nation's coastal waters.
1979-1984 - Leader of NMFS' National Habitat Effects Assessment Program.  As Chief of the Habitat Conservation, Development and Support Group, led NMFS' national habitat conservation program, which provides stewardship for the nation's living marine resources by representing their interests in all nationally significant federal decision-making on proposed activities (federal projects, permits, leases, or licenses) and proposed policy (laws and regulations) that could adversely effect their habitat.  Responsible for providing leadership, oversight, and policy guidance for operations by NMFS' five Regional habitat conservation programs (collectively involving approximately 80 ecologists and support staff and an annual budget of $5 million).  Prioritized and coordinated the national program's goals and objectives with its legislative mandates.  Served as principal Departmental spokesman on all significant habitat issues, frequently involving negotiations with policy officials of other Departments and members of Congress.  Responsible for the development of NMFS' position on legislation and federal regulations, policy negotiations with officials of other federal agencies, and development of the Department of Commerce's position on all decisions "elevated" by NMFS for negotiation with the Chief of Engineers or Secretary of the Army.  Every water resource development project elevated under his direction  (1978-1984) was decided eventually in NMFS' favor - a record of success unmatched before or since.  Co-developed an innovative strategic planning approach (Regional Action Plan) that focused NMFS' research and management efforts on the highest priority habitat threats in each Region.
1978-1979 - Permit Program Leader, National Habitat Effects Assessment Program, Office of Habitat Protection, NMFS.  Responsible for overseeing and providing policy guidance for the conduct of the NMFS Regions' involvement in the regulatory programs of the Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency regarding all activities affecting "waters of the U.S." - the focus of NMFS' regional habitat conservation programs.  Ensured the soundness of NMFS' policy positions on all unacceptable projects elevated and then negotiated with the Chief of Engineers or Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (ASACW).  Acted as principal Department of Commerce negotiator with the ASACW in the development of the first MOU between the Secretaries of Commerce and Army governing conduct of the Corps' regulatory program.
1973-1977 - Assistant Division Biologist, Environmental Assessment Division, Lower Mississippi Valley Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, MS.  Evaluated the adequacy of all EISs and engineering plans submitted for review by four Corps Districts for water supply, flood control and navigation projects throughout the Lower Mississippi Valley (LA, MS, AR, TN, MO, KY, and IL).  Coordinated the environmental assessment activities and document preparation by four District Environmental Resources Divisions.  Co-developed a standardized effect assessment methodology, the Habitat Evaluation System, that is still used by the Corps to quantify the ecological benefits and losses associated with various alternative plans and their components for water resource development.
1971-1972 - Agriculture and Fisheries Officer, Office of Economic Affairs, Headquarters, Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV).  Served one tour of duty as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to MACV HQ.  Worked closely with the Vietnamese Ministry of Economics, USAID officials and with representatives of Vietnamese fishermen and farmers;  conducted numerous site visits throughout South Vietnam.  Conducted economic studies and recommended means to improve Vietnam's capacity to produce rice, rubber, marine fish, pork, vegetables and cement to improve the country's economic self-sufficiency, foreign exchange position and its ability to feed itself.  Conducted an investigation of the seafood marketing system;  assisted in replacing middlemen with a fishermen's cooperative to lower consumer prices while increasing fishermen's revenue.
1969-1971 - Assistant District Biologist, Jacksonville District, Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville, FL.  As a 1st Lieutenant and Captain on active duty in the U.S. Army, advised the District Engineer and his engineering, planning and operations and maintenance staffs on the ecological effects of the primary components of the Corps' civil works program for water resource development throughout Florida.  Prepared and reviewed numerous environmental documents, including environmental assessments and EISs for all proposed federal and private projects.  Conducted water quality sampling and fish and wildlife studies throughout Florida to improve the design and management of various Corps' projects for flood control, water supply, fish and wildlife enhancement, water conservation and navigation.  Implemented all relevant federal environmental legislation (e.g., NEPA, ESA, CWA and FWCA).
EDUCATION
M.A., Marine Science, 1969, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Gloucester Point, VA (thesis area - ecology of anadromous fishes)
B.S., Biology, 1966, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA
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