On May 28, 2013, CRC held a public meeting to provide stakeholders an update on current Ocean SAMP activities, including ongoing ocean research and offshore wind activity being administered for Block Island and federal waters, as well as information on national and regional ocean planning activities in New England. Ocean planning activities were discussed by the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC), a state and federal partnership that facilitiates the New England states, federal agencies, regional organizations, and other interested regional groups in addressing ocean and coastal issues that benefit from a regional response. The establishment of the National Ocean Policy in July, 2010, calls for the formation of Regional Planning Bodies to develop regional ocean plans and carry out these regional planning activities. Members of the Northeast Regional Planning Body include federal, tribal, state, and New England Fishery Management Council representatives.

Goals of the Northeast Regional Planning Body are to:

  • Promote Effective decision making- working effectively across agencies to improve timeliness of decision making, produce consistent regional data, and incorporate science priorities into decisions
  • Develop a planning framework to protect, restore, and maintain healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems that provide social, cultural, spiritual, and economic benefits.
  • Encourage compatibility among ocean and coastal uses while minimizing conflict and impacts to environmental and cutural resources through local prioritization of uses, stakeholder coordination, and conflict resolution.

For more information on the NROC, regional planning bodies, and current regional planning activities in New England click here


On April 23, 2013, the University of Rhode Island and RI Sea Grant, in partnership with SeaPlan, the Northeast Regional Ocean Council and the RI Marine Trades Association held a meeting to address regional ocean planning issues faced by recreational boaters and present the draft results of a survey conducted in 2012 by SeaPlan, an independent, nonprofit ocean science and policy group. Issues faced by recreational boaters in New England include:

  • Boating access
  • Waterway maintenance
  • Permitting efficiency and shore-side infrastructure
  • Economic issues: taxes, gas prices, etc.
  • Environmental issues: marine debris, water quality, etc.

The recreational boating survey was carried out by SeaPlan to gather temporal, spatial, and economic data on recreational uses of coastal and ocean waters from New York to Maine during the 2012 boating season. The goals of the survey were to assist in decision making processes, help with industry business planning, and promote the value of recreational boating. The results provided maps of popular routes, boater density, and points of activity. In Rhode Island, these results are especially useful in conjunction with the Ocean SAMP document and for future evaluation of existing uses and projects involving tourism, recreational boating, cruise ship activity, and sailing events.

More information about this study