Regional ocean planning: giving all ocean users a seat at the table.
The National Ocean Policy is an important framework that requires all federal agencies to work together better. CLF is using that process in New England to bring together conservation allies as well as fishermen, clean energy advocates, the shipping industry, and recreational users to advocate for a regional ocean plan that is committed to protecting our ocean and coasts, that relies on our best scientific and economic data, and that promotes sustainable development of our ocean economy.
Already, New England is a leader in regional ocean planning. In early 2009 Massachusetts released its comprehensive Ocean Management Plan, the first of its kind in the country. In 2010, Rhode Island pushed us further forward with its Ocean Special Area Management Plan. These plans will help balance the protection of vulnerable marine wildlife and habitats with responsible ocean use, including a framework to promote offshore renewable energy development.
We know ocean planning works. Shipping lanes into and out of Boston Harbor were successfully re-routed to decrease accidental, harmful collisions of ships and whales. Meanwhile, both the Massachusetts and Rhode Island ocean plans include detailed siting and performance standards that will help streamline offshore wind energy development.
CLF is actively promoting regional ocean planning, because better planning will help us ensure that our oceans and coasts are healthy, that rare ocean wildlife are protected and recovering, that renewable energy growth is not at the expense of our important marine ecosystems, and that, most importantly, we all have a say in how our ocean resources are used.
* CLF strongly supports the National Ocean Policy, which calls for a series of coordinated actions to protect ocean habitat and wildlife, reduce coastal pollution, promote the responsible development of offshore renewable energy, and ensure a sustainable future for our fishing industry and coastal communities.
* In December 2009, Massachusetts released its Ocean Management Plan after extensive stakeholder review, public meetings, and public comment. Despite centuries of land use planning experience in the U.S., this marked the first time in history that a state had developed such a comprehensive approach to planning uses of the ocean.
* In August 2010, Rhode Island released its Ocean Special Area Management Plan (SAMP). Developed with extensive input from scientists and government, business, and environmental stakeholders, including CLF, the SAMP aims to balance the protection of vulnerable marine habitats and wildlife with responsible ocean uses including the development of clean renewable energy.
* The Mass Ocean Plan is already showing the promise of good planning and cooperation. Rhode Island's Ocean SAMP will be integral to creating a new industry of clean renewable energy. The National Ocean Policy can do the same for communities across the country.
RELATED ARTICLE: REGIONAL OCEAN PLANNING AT A GLANCE
CLF IS URGING THE NATIONAL OCEAN COUNCIL TO LAUNCH A REGIONAL PLANNING PROCESS IN NEW ENGLAND BY THE END OF 2012.
New England's ocean and coastal areas are vital to us economically, recreationally, and culturally. Tides and fish, wind, and whales--these do not stop at state boundaries, and neither should our planning.
CLF is working with many other stakeholders in several states, including port operators, fishermen, and community groups to build support for the rapid and sensible implementation of regional ocean planning.
CLF is advocating for regional ocean planning in communities across New England, and in Washington DC and working with other ocean users to support a planning process that is open to all stakeholders, fair, and transparent to everyone. Planning must be conducted using the best available science and the principals of ecosystem-based management.
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|Title Annotation:||OCEAN CONSERVATION|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2012|
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