Coit, whose experience in environmental matters span more than three decades, will take over for Paul Doremus, who has served as acting NOAA Fisheries assistant administrator since January.
“Janet understands the direct link between natural resources management and economic vitality for our Nation,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “She is a tremendous addition to our NOAA team, who brings a wealth of experience in supporting fisheries, promoting the seafood sector, protecting the marine environment, and tackling climate change.”
At her previous job, Coit worked to support Rhode Island’s fishing industry by improving the infrastructure for commercial and recreational fisheries and pushing for its sustainable management, including a new shellfish initiative. Before that, Coit served as The Nature Conservancy in Rhode Island’s state director and was counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works.
She will oversee the management of recreational and commercial fisheries within U.S. waters, the protection of marine mammals and protected species and the conservation of coastal fisheries habitats, NOAA said. She’ll also lead its 4,800 employees based in five regional offices, six science centers and over 20 laboratories in 15 states and U.S. territories.
“I am excited to join NOAA Fisheries to work with the agency’s incredibly skilled and dedicated employees to rebuild fisheries where necessary, and protect and conserve endangered and threatened marine resources and their habitats,” said Coit. “It’s clear that NOAA Fisheries is already pivoting to capture and incorporate climate impacts into its world-class science capabilities. That will serve us well as we focus on the management of some of the most iconic and sustainable fisheries in the world.”