May 25, 2016 marks a significant day for New England’s ocean and all of us who love and rely on it as a source of recreation and livelihood. Today, a group charged with developing the nation’s first regional ocean management plan has released a draft of the Northeast Regional Ocean Plan, which will shape future decisions about how we use and manage our ocean resources.
The Northeast Ocean Plan is historic, and will set a new precedent for ocean management. A product of the National Ocean Policy, which was enacted by President Obama in 2010, the Plan aims to foster improved coordination and data-driven decision making in how we manage our ocean resources – from where we site telecommunications cables and wind farms to identifying sensitive habitat areas. The Plan will benefit marine life and ocean habitat, as well as our iconic maritime industries and the coastal communities that depend on them.
The draft plan results from collaboration between every New England state, federal agencies, federally recognized Native tribes from Connecticut to northern Maine, and other stakeholders.
Such an effort deserves resounding praise and Conservation Law Foundation applauds the Regional Planning Body on this momentous achievement, as New England continues its legacy as a national leader for our oceans.
Conservation Law Foundation has long been a champion for ocean planning in New England. We played an active role in the development of the first state ocean management plans in the country – in Massachusetts and Rhode Island – and we’ve been involved in this historic regional ocean plan since its inception.
With a draft of the plan now on the table, we will work diligently to analyze its contents and deliver an analysis of how well the draft plan recognizes conservation efforts and the need for management based upon a holistic view of our region’s unique ocean ecosystems. Our hope is that the plan supports the needs of New England’s people, communities, ocean habitats and marine wildlife.
Throughout the next two months, there will be opportunities for you to weigh in on the regional management plan. Stay tuned for more information about how you can be involved in the process!
To find out more about the Northeast Regional Ocean Plan, visit the Regional Planning Body’s website.