Yesterday the Commonwealth of Massachusetts released the final management for all of the state’s ocean waters. Despite centuries of land use planning experience in the US, this is the first time in history that a state has developed such a comprehensive approach to planning uses of the ocean. This is a true victory for our oceans and all who use them. Much congratulations to Gov. Patrick and the hard working people in the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs who were working on the details through the holidays. Read the joint release CLF and Mass Audubon issued yesterday.
What does it mean for the economy? A study by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management estimates the annual output of the state’s marine economy at $14.8 billion a year. The results of better planning will help facilitate more responsible use and enable a serious leap to development of clean, renewable energy that will add to the economy. For me, I like that we have a state plan that protects special places and ocean wildlife habitat (about two-thirds of the state’s waters are protected in one way or another) so that we can continue to enjoy the waters, beaches and bays for a few more generations. Let it be an example to all other states!