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.


Building an MSP Network

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. Case studies examining MSP practices in Rhode Island, San Francisco, and Washington State were produced with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Those case studies may be found on the publications page.

Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan

The Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan, or Ocean SAMP, laid the groundwork for the development of the nation’s first offshore wind farm. To learn more about the Ocean SAMP, visit the website.

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