Ocean Currents » ocean planning http://blog.oceanconservancy.org News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy Fri, 28 Apr 2017 22:26:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 The Ingredients to Make a Smart Ocean Plan http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/12/07/the-ingredients-to-make-a-smart-ocean-plan/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/12/07/the-ingredients-to-make-a-smart-ocean-plan/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:39:51 +0000 Katie Morgan http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=13437
Ocean Conservancy congratulates the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic for finalizing the first smart ocean plans in the United States. As they move into implementation, we look forward to continuing our work in the regions to help coastal communities and our ocean continue to thrive!

This process has come full-circle since 2004 when a commission appointed by President George W. Bush released the “Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century,” which called for coordinated governance of offshore waters based on sound science and regional collaboration.

While we celebrate the success of these two ocean plans, we wanted to take a moment to look at what the main components of a smart ocean plan are. You can also take a deeper dive into the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic ocean plans.

Reaching this milestone moment made us realize that a smart ocean plan has a lot in common with a good apple pie.

For an apple pie, there are some basic ingredients you need like apples, sugar, flour and butter in addition to your own creative flavor preferences and a carefully tested process to end up with a delicious creation that is a unique showstopper.

That’s how it goes with smart planning. It requires a few specific ingredients that are important to use when making decisions about our ocean, that build the foundation for smart planning that benefits the ocean environment and ocean economy. And in order to make the plan really work, each region builds upon those ingredients to tailor it specifically to their unique preferences and needs.

Main Ingredients for an Ocean Plan

Meaningful public participation

The people who live near, or work on or around the ocean are the ones that know it the best. A smart ocean plan will seek to engage a broad and diverse range of ocean users—often called “stakeholders” because they are invested in having a healthy natural resource—through a wide variety of engagement strategies, including public sessions like webinars, local and state-based meetings, open forums and more. Experts on specific subjects like renewable energy and fisheries managers are often invited to share their experiences in order to lay the best foundation for important decisions about the future of our ocean.

By consulting with as broad a diversity of people as possible, these smart ocean plans build on a strong foundation of local knowledge and expert advice, leading to the creation of a robust decision-support tool.

You can learn more about some of the people who have been involved in ocean planning at  www.keeptheoceanworking.com

Based in sound science

Sound science has to be the cornerstone of decisions that impact our ocean, which is an important ecological and economic engine for our planet. Ocean planning relies upon a wealth of existing knowledge as well as new information that is collected after any gaps in knowledge are identified through stakeholder engagement process.

Ocean planning takes into account a complex web of information, such as species distribution and migratory routes, wind and wave speeds, fishing and commercial shipping, as well as social and cultural factors important to communities along the coast. It also takes into account when and where activities happen. By collecting information that already exists and bolstering it with new science and research priorities, ocean planning helps build a map of what, where and when activities are occurring. As a result, smart ocean plans can balance the needs of ocean users and the environment, and present win-win options.

Head on over to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast ocean data portals to explore some of that information!

Coordinated decision-making

Did you know there are over two dozen agencies and 140 laws and regulations that govern our ocean? A smart ocean plan encourages a coordinated approach to decision-making. States and federal agencies, tribes, fisheries management councils and other bodies can work together with the public to share common sources of data and information. It allows for decision-making that spans from the local to the federal level. In the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic for example, various agencies came together and agreed to increase coordination in a voluntary basis, which will lead to improved decision-making and better results for local communities!

Adaptive management

Nothing in life is ever certain. Plans must be flexible enough to adapt to changing conditions—be it economic, environmental or social. A smart ocean plan will be a “living” document, which means it is periodically reviewed to assess if it meets the needs of the people and responding to changing priorities in the region. And as part of the unique regional flavor, there will be complementary processes that allow for changes that take into account the public and other stakeholders.

To ensure thriving coastal and ocean economies, smart ocean plans have embraced a locally-driven approach that raises the voice of ocean users supported by rigorous science to inform decisions. This is meant to be an adaptive process that can respond to changes in the environment and economy, thus ensuring decisions are made with respect to current and future needs.

We applaud the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic for their work in developing these regionally-driven, locally-based smart ocean plans that will help strengthen coastal economies and conserve our ocean environment for generations to come. As other regions like the West Coast, begin to plan for the sustainable management of their offshore resources, they can use this basic ingredient list and add a bit of their own spice, to create a unique, beneficial document for their coastal and marine economies and environment!

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West Coast Holds Regional Planning Body Kickoff Meeting http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/11/11/west-coast-holds-regional-planning-body-kickoff-meeting/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/11/11/west-coast-holds-regional-planning-body-kickoff-meeting/#comments Fri, 11 Nov 2016 14:30:39 +0000 Amy Trice http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=13317

For the past few months, we have talked a lot about ocean planning on the East Coast especially with two regional ocean plans released in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Now, we are excited to share news from the West Coast!

Last month, the West Coast Regional Planning Body (WCRPB), comprised of federal, state and tribal representatives from California, Washington and Oregon as well as the Pacific Fishery Management Council held its first official meeting since signing its charter. On October 26 and 27, I attended the meeting in Portland, Oregon, where dozens of individuals from local, state and federal government, ocean user groups, non-profit organizations, tribes and more came together to start the conversation around a regional, collaborative approach to ocean management.

The National Ocean Council Director Deerin Babb-Brott opened the meeting with encouraging words for the West Coast, underscoring support from the White House and sharing some of the lessons learned from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic ocean planning process. He highlighted the value of a ground-up approach, stressing the importance of stakeholder engagement throughout the entire planning process and the need to think collaboratively as a region. Ensuring proper engagement with a diversity of ocean users groups and the public is critical to a successful planning process. Babb-Brott further urged the WCRPB to embrace the knowledge of the tribes in the region—twelve of which have representatives that sit on the WCRPB.

Ocean planning on the West Coast will build upon state-level planning that is already underway in both Washington and Oregon. The WCRPB will take a sub-regional approach to ocean planning, in an effort to accommodate the large and diverse marine ecosystem from Southern California to the Canadian border. This sub-regional approach highlights a unique factor about regional ocean planning across the country: Each region that decides to create a plan for their ocean can design the plan in a way that meets their region’s current and future needs, while ensuring the plan fits in with existing management structures.

The WCRPB is now focused on three major areas of discussion. They include:

  1. Defining the sub-regions
  2. Identifying regional issues and priorities that the planning process should address
  3. Ensuring data and information is regionally relevant through the West Coast Ocean Data Portal

I applaud the RPB’s collaboration to date and look forward to engaging as they move forward in the process!

Information on the West Coast Regional Planning Body can be found here.

Slides from the October 2016 meeting are available here.

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Exploring the First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/09/28/exploring-the-first-u-s-offshore-wind-farm/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/09/28/exploring-the-first-u-s-offshore-wind-farm/#comments Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:07:59 +0000 Katie Morgan http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=13019

It was a grey and rainy day, the seas were choppy and I had my seasick medicine at the ready.

“Hope you ladies are in for a bumpy ride” shouted the captain of the small vessel that would be our next mode of transportation. “We might only make it halfway out before we need to turn around, it’s rough out there today!”

Great. Just what I wanted to hear.

The Block Island Wind Farm

The wind was gusty—a positive sign, considering we were on our way to visit America’s first offshore wind farm. In the distance, our destination was clear. Three turbines were standing at the ready, towering over the remaining two platforms under construction. These engineering wonders were tall and thin, with yellow foundations and bright white towers; a stark contrast to the dark and turbulent sea that swirled around them.

However, our purpose that day was not to gaze at these novel giants in the ocean. We were there to view another process, one that was not visible to the eye. For those who work to coordinate all the different uses of the ocean with an eye towards environmental sustainability, this project is an example of what the future of ocean management may look like in the coming years—one that balances human uses while ensuring our environment is considered equally.

The Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan

The Block Island Wind Farm, which is what we were heading out to see, was partly spurred by the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Act of 2004. Offshore wind, which was included in the Act, would be a novel industry for Rhode Island. To deal with it, the state identified the need for smart ocean planning in the waters off the coast. In 2006, Rhode Island began an ambitious effort to plan for the future of their ocean, understanding there are many interests vying for a constrained three-dimensional space.

Thus, the Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan (OSAMP) process was born. Over the course of two years, the state Coastal Resource Management Council (CRMC), brought together scientists, academics, industry and fisheries management representatives, the general public, project developers and more to collect data, share their visions over the current and projected uses of the state’s marine resources, and chart a path forward the enables all ocean users, new and old, to co-exist and thrive with a healthy ocean. The Ocean SAMP developed valuable information that improved the understanding and management of state and federal waters off Rhode Island’s coast—everything from who uses the waters and how, to the importance of the area for marine mammals, fish and bird populations.

By 2010, the plan was approved. An area for offshore wind was identified through consultation with myriad ocean users, and coordination with conservation groups helped lead to a project that had broad support. The project was placed in a location that nearly everyone agreed on: Conservationists ensured areas that were important for seabirds weren’t disturbed, and that during construction, pile driving would be scheduled to protect sound-sensitive endangered whales; sailors ensured their race routes weren’t affected; and lobstermen got tweaks to the project location to protect their fishing grounds along with ongoing research commitments.

The Future of Our Ocean

As states across the country develop their own renewable energy goals, advancing more comprehensive ocean planning efforts is fundamentally important. For example, the Governor of Massachusetts recently signed an energy bill which may lead the state towards an offshore wind generating capacity of roughly 1,600MW—an enormous amount, considering the Block Island Wind Farm has a capacity of just 30MW. New York just unveiled its own blueprint for offshore renewable development in an effort to curb emissions and power the state’s electricity hungry population. In addition, the Department of Interior (DOI) just released their National Offshore Wind Strategy, where they laid out the United States’ potential for offshore wind development along its coastlines. DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has leased 11 offshore wind areas up and down the eastern seaboard, including offshore Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia, all of which could soon see projects moving forward.

What this all means is offshore wind in the U.S. is primed for rapid growth. Ocean managers must plan and prepare for it now and well in to the future. Thankfully, ocean planning is occurring in both state waters (0-3 miles offshore) and federal waters (3-200 miles offshore) across the United States. Some states, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Washington and Oregon, are already creating ocean plans for their state waters with goals similar to those of Rhode Island, and federal ocean planning efforts are underway in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, West Coast and around the Pacific Islands. The processes differ from place to place, but the methods are the same: Bringing sound science and stakeholder engagement together to decrease conflict and secure a sustainable and healthy ocean environment.

The future is bright with Ocean Planning

I’ll be honest—the seas were not as monstrous as they could have been, but for a mildly stormy day and a very small boat, we had a pretty choppy ride. Most importantly, we were able to see with our own eyes what the outcome of a collaborative process can look like.

We should all be able to agree that there is a way in which we can enable multiple ocean uses to co-exist in harmony while protecting the environment and the species (ourselves included) that depend upon it for their survival. We can start by having open conversations with ocean users, decision-makers and the public, gathering data and trying to find areas of common interest through the ocean planning process. By working together, we can help drive outcomes that work for everyone.

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Mid-Atlantic Ocean Users Tell Congress to Support the New Ocean Action Plan http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/07/26/mid-atlantic-ocean-users-tell-congress-to-support-the-new-ocean-action-plan/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/07/26/mid-atlantic-ocean-users-tell-congress-to-support-the-new-ocean-action-plan/#comments Tue, 26 Jul 2016 19:17:06 +0000 Katie Morgan http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=12514

What do recreational fishermen, research scientists, commercial shipping representatives, conservationists and renewable energy developers have in common? They’ve all come together at a common table to address important decisions being made about our ocean thanks to ocean planning.

Two weeks ago, over 20 ocean users from the five Mid-Atlantic states came to Washington, D.C., to talk about the recently released Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan with Members of Congress and the National Ocean Council at the White House.

These individuals came to D.C. with a simple message: the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan was released July 5th, and it will provide real benefits to our ocean, the states, and ocean industries. It offers a seat at the decision-making table for ocean users across the region and seeks to proactively identify ocean uses and resolve conflicts before they become problematic. They asked members of Congress to support the plan, and to support their respective industries’ roles in the planning process.

Over the course of two days, these ocean users met with 36 members of Congress and the National Ocean Council to talk about the benefits smart ocean planning has brought to the region and will continue to bring. This visit was a celebration of the hard work the region has put in to the planning process, and also a chance to discuss with federal leaders the significance of this ocean plan. They requested support for the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan and the efforts of ocean users like themselves who have been invested in this collaborative process with the goal of making better, more informed ocean use decisions.

What did the Participants Have to Say?

What were some of the takeaways for the people who came down from the region, and what does planning mean to different ocean sectors? Check out what some of the individuals that attended the D.C. fly-in last week had to say:

“It used to be that if we wanted to address an issue we, as fishermen, had to go to each agency individually: Coast Guard, Department of Defense, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and often we were left out of discussions. Ocean planning gives us a platform to participate in these discussions—this is an absolutely wonderful idea. We’ll be able to comment early in the process on vital issues regarding fishing and habitat. We’ll be able to address emerging issues such as the impacts of climate change on fishing and sand mining.”

— Jeff Deem, a recreational fisherman who serves on the Stakeholder Liaison Committee with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body.

“Before ocean planning the recreational boating industry was ‘invisible’ to state and federal resource managers. But we represent 185,000 registered recreational boats in Maryland. When I was learning to sail in the Chesapeake a container ship captain once told me your little sailboat is invisible to me, don’t get close to me because I can’t see you. As a recreational fisherman you may have an idea where you want to fish that day, but the fish move, so the recreational boats move. Having this one-stop-shop data portal is vital because we can see where the ships are going.”

— Susan Zellers, Executive Director of the Marine Trades Association of Maryland

“Ocean planning is the most efficient and cost-effective platform for balancing commerce and conservation. It provides stakeholders an opportunity to identify their use of the ocean common grounds, while seeing how other uses might impact their activity.  Through ocean planning, any potential conflicts can be identified and diffused.”

— Carleen Lyden-Kluss, Executive Director of New York Maritime, Inc.

“Ocean planning is good business. What any business investor looks for is a way of reducing risk and increasing the probability that the project will go through. Ocean planning brings stakeholders together and reduces risks and increases certainty. We know we’re not the only kid on the block. We are committed to siting windfarms responsibility. We want to share our project plans and data, vet and test projects before other ocean users. We want their feedback. Ocean planning gives us the forum to do that.”

— Paul Rich, Director of Project Development at U.S. Wind

“Commercial shipping is undergoing an extremely dynamic period of change. We’re seeing global market fluctuation, larger ships, regulation, and growing commerce coupled with port and canal expansions. All these influences combined continually change routes and operations. Our members value ocean planning because it gives them a voice in decision-making and the opportunity to work together through agency commitments outlined in the ocean plans. We have already seen the benefits of this collaboration in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.”

— Sean Kline, Director of Maritime Affairs at the Chamber of Shipping of America.

What’s Next?

On July 5th, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (RPB) released the draft Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan. They will welcome comments for 60 days, through September 6th. We encourage you to check out our blog on the plan release, and read through the plan for yourself! If you are inspired, we also encourage you to submit your comments on the plan.

Learn more about the Mid-Atlantic ocean planning process at the RPB’s website and their Regional Ocean Assessment, a great resource they put together during the planning process.

 

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New Ocean Plan is History in the Making http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/07/18/new-ocean-plan-is-history-in-the-making/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/07/18/new-ocean-plan-is-history-in-the-making/#comments Mon, 18 Jul 2016 13:32:37 +0000 Anne Merwin http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=12410

The summer sizzle has arrived and I have some hot news to share with you: The nation’s first regional ocean plan was just released in New England! This plan is a huge win for the Atlantic Ocean and everything that lives in it.

I couldn’t be more excited about this news!! But, I need your help to make sure the plan turns into real action on the water and not just words on a paper. Will you take action today?

I depend on an organized plan to help me get through a busy day—it’s the same with the ocean (and quite a bit more important)! We need a smart ocean plan to help organize and balance the many ocean uses like shipping, fishing and recreation—all while keeping marine ecosystems healthy and in balance. It’s a lot to organize!! But, this ocean plan is more than up to the task.

But time is running out! The comment period is only open until July 25, so you must add your voice now!

From its sandy beaches to kelp forests, New England is a beautiful and diverse environment home to thousands of marine species. But there are changes occurring; some we can see, and some we can’t. As our natural ecosystem changes, how we use the ocean changes, too. That makes this ocean plan and sound management more critical than ever.

Summer is slipping by fast—and so is this comment period! Don’t miss out. Can I count on your help today to tell the Regional Planning Body that you support their work on smart ocean planning.

The plan is a huge stride towards smarter ocean planning—a process that benefits both the ocean environment and communities that rely on a healthy ocean for enjoyment and their livelihoods.

Thank you so much for your help.

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Trove of Marine Life Data Released in the Northeast http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/06/23/trove-of-marine-life-data-released-in-the-northeast/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/06/23/trove-of-marine-life-data-released-in-the-northeast/#comments Thu, 23 Jun 2016 19:54:43 +0000 Katie Morgan http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=12336

Last month, a collection of maps representing one of the largest known efforts to assemble and disseminate spatial data for multiple species of marine life was released in New England. This powerful new information database characterizes over 150 marine species through map based visualizations.

These data enhance our fundamental understanding of marine species and where they exist in the ocean, bringing us a step closer to a more comprehensive assessment of marine resources. In the end, the goal is to better inform decision-makers who are tasked with improving ocean ecosystems and enhancing our ocean economy.

The New England Ocean Ecosystem

Off the coast of New England lies a beautiful and complex ocean ecosystem. From sandy beaches to kelp forests to deep sea corals, this region is home to thousands of marine species, many endemic to the coastal and marine habitats that range from Connecticut to Maine. The habitat is shaped by the cold, nutrient rich waters circulating around the Gulf of Maine, and the warm influence of the South Atlantic brought north via the Gulf Stream. New England also boasts a huge array of underwater physical features, like mountains and canyons, that influence the biological diversity we cherish so dearly.

However, there are changes occurring in the waters of New England and the culture around it.

From ocean acidification to sea level rise to warming waters, we are seeing rapid changes in ecosystems as a whole, as well as individual species distribution and abundance. Native species are moving north or heading offshore to cooler, deeper waters, while non-native species are extending their ranges into New England from regions in the south as a result of the same warming trends. As ecological communities are shifting, so too are maritime communities that depend upon them for their livelihoods and enjoyment.

The Data: Marine Life & Habitat Characterization

Understanding the distribution and abundance of species, and their interactions with one another and their environment, is critical for better management and sound decision-making. However, our baseline understanding of the marine ecosystem has significant gaps.  To get a more holistic picture of what is going on in our ocean, we need better data. This is especially true at a regional scale.

In response to these data gaps, a group of over 80 regional scientists and managers, with input from the public, have begun to tackle this problem head on.

Through the Northeast regional ocean planning process, scientists participating in the Marine Life Data Assessment Team have focused their attention on enhancing marine life and habitat data; spatially characterizing the mammals, birds, fish, and habitat types of New England’s coastal and marine waters using complex models.

Some of the amazing information provided for the public to view and utilize include:

  • Individual species mapscharacterizing the distribution and abundance/ biomass of:
  • Physical and Biological Habitat maps, characterizing sediment grain type, size, and stability, surface and bottom currents and temperature, primary productivity, wetlands, shellfish habitat, and more.

In addition to individual species and habitat maps, the research team has begun synthesizing information to delineate diversity, species richness, total abundance, and core abundance areas for groups of species that share regulatory, ecological, and stressor-sensitivity characteristics. For example:

  • Regulatory and Conservation Priority Groups: To aid decision-makers, researchers grouped species based on various existing authorities such as Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, and the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
  • Ecologically and Biologically Grouped Species: By grouping species based on their life histories, trophic level, spatial distribution, and habitat requirements, these data products can help reveal underlying ecosystem processes that drive observed marine life patterns.
  • Stressor-Sensitivity Based Species Groups: Many species can be affected by a range of human use or environmental stressors. By grouping species based on specific stressors, such as sound frequency (whales) and sensitivity to collision with offshore wind farms (birds), these products can inform important offshore permit applications.

These maps and related information are just the beginning, and scientists are working to finalize all the information available online through peer and public review. Future iterations of the ocean plan could improve upon these data layers and their components to help inform comprehensive ecosystem-based management.

Understanding the limitations of our current understanding of marine life and habitat in the region, the Northeast RPB has identified a range of science and research priorities to begin addressing critical data gaps. To address such priorities, there is an entire chapter in the draft NE ocean plan devoted to laying out a research agenda, identifying key areas of focus to enhance our current database, and expanding upon the work that has already been done.

New England has gained a wealth of new scientific information and data products and has many exciting opportunities for new, regionally-relevant research which are specifically called out by regional scientists and managers as areas of high priority.

We encourage you to read the plan and explore the data for yourself!

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The Northeast Ocean Plan Sails towards a New Era for Ocean Management http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/05/27/the-northeast-ocean-plan-sails-towards-a-new-era-for-ocean-management/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/05/27/the-northeast-ocean-plan-sails-towards-a-new-era-for-ocean-management/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 15:06:23 +0000 Anne Merwin http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=12166

The Northeast Ocean Plan, the nation’s first regional ocean plan was released this week and is now open for public comment through July 25. See Ocean Conservancy’s press release here.

This plan is the culmination of four years of work by state and federal agencies, tribes, the Fishery Management Council, stakeholders and the public.  New England has led the nation on collaborative ocean management since 2005 when it formed the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC), the country’s first regional ocean partnership.  In 2010, the issuance of President Obama’s National Ocean Policy opened the door for New England to create the Northeast Regional Planning Body (whose work NROC supports), and to move forward with regional ocean planning.   The release of the draft plan this week is a major step towards more coordinated, science-based, and stakeholder-informed ocean management.  It results in better data and information on a wide range of ocean uses and resources, improved communication and coordination amongst the twenty plus state and federal agencies with jurisdiction in the ocean, and decision-making processes that better engage stakeholders and ocean users.  All with the goal of advancing ocean health and growing local economies.

So what does this plan mean for you as an ocean user?  Traditionally, ocean management was done on a sector-by-sector basis, with scant attention paid to the impacts a project would have on other uses until well into the project development process.  Too often, it was up to an ocean user, such as a recreational fisherman or a conservationist, to keep abreast of proposed developments like wind farms and dredging projects and to ensure new projects wouldn’t have a negative impact on the things they care about.  Essentially, the onus was on the ocean user to make sure that federal and state agencies knew about them, to put themselves ‘in the room’.  Ocean planning inverts that.

Thanks to the plan’s stakeholder-driven approach, the development of a public data portal with unique information describing how and where people and animals use the ocean, plus agency commitments to involve stakeholders and use their data, the responsibility is on the agency and decision-makers to make sure that what they’re doing has the least amount of impact to the interests and livelihoods of ocean users and the environment. With the Regional Ocean Plan and the Northeast Ocean Data Portal, ocean users like you are automatically put in the room.

We’ll continue to post more information about the specifics of the plan over the coming weeks, such as our latest blog describing the revolutionary marine life data that was released with the plan. Follow the links below for more information:

Read and comment on the draft Northeast Regional Ocean Plan here

Consider attending one of nine public meetings, if you’re in New England.

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