Marine Spatial Planning

The oceans are increasingly busy. More than ever, people are turning to the sea and its resources for food, jobs, energy, recreation, and transportation. Marine spatial planning (MSP) is a planning approach that helps government agencies, user groups, and other stakeholders with varied goals work together to establish future uses of ocean space and resources.

Rhode Island Sea Grant Extension/URI Coastal Resources Center‘s research and capacity-building program for MSP practitioners seeks to strengthen the practitioner network, enhance network communication, and support present and emerging MSP leaders. This program provides practitioners with opportunities to gain new MSP skills, tools and techniques, and learn from the experiences of others.

PROJECTS

Building an MSP Network

Case studies examining MSP practices in Rhode Island, San Francisco, and Washington State were produced with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Coastal managers nationwide and globally expressed interest in learning how to develop and implement marine spatial planning (MSP) efforts like the Ocean SAMP, but felt they needed technical assistance and support services to do so in an informed manner. Rhode Island Sea Grant responded to requests by providing coastal managers with a professional development program that recognizes the educational value inherent in the global network of MSP practitioners.

The goal of this project is to develop a network of skilled practitioners from government, industry, and non-governmental organizations that enhances global implementation of MSP.

 
 
 

 
 

Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan

This guide describes the development of the Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan, examining the planning process and highlighting successful strategies for marine spatial planning.

The Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP)  laid the groundwork for the development of the nation’s first offshore wind farm.

Rhode Island Sea Grant helped facilitate the creation of the Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP) in response to a growing interest in the development of our offshore waters. This plan has been used as a national model for marine spatial planning efforts, both in state and federal waters, nationwide.

a “landmark” plan that demonstrates how best to manage, protect, and enhance increasing uses and resources of ocean waters through collaboration.

To learn more about the Ocean SAMP, visit http://seagrant.gso.uri.edu/oceansamp/

For more information contact Jennifer McCann, extension director for Rhode Island Sea Grant and director of U.S. Coastal Programs for URI CRC, at mccann@crc.uri.edu or (401) 874-6127.  

RECENT IMPACTS

Rhode Island’s Ocean Special Area Management Plan, which was developed through Rhode Island Sea Grant facilitation, is being used as a case study by international communities interested in applying similar ocean planning strategies to manage emerging maritime industries and existing uses of our ocean spaces.

Over the last decade, an increasing number of countries have begun to design and implement maritime spatial plans at various scales; from local initiatives to transnational efforts. This has been triggered by new business opportunities in emerging maritime industries such as offshore wind farms, the reversal of negative environmental trends, and better coordination of sectors.

Rhode Island Sea Grant helped facilitate the creation of the Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP) in response to a growing interest in the development of our offshore waters. This plan has been used as a national model for marine spatial planning efforts, both in state and federal waters, nationwide.

Sea Grant Extension Leader Jennifer McCann engaged in several international workshops to provide insights into the planning process behind the Ocean SAMP, such as stakeholder engagement, which both the City of Ottawa in Canada and European Union ocean planning groups are incorporating as a case study to help guide their own planning efforts.