July 28, 2009
Marine Spatial Planning: Why, How, and When?
Co-sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute and
DC Bar, Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Section, Oceans and Marine Resources Committee
Marine uses continue to grow around the world, and may result in increasing instances of resource and access conflict. Offshore alternative energy projects, oil and gas exploration and drilling, mineral mining, recreational and commercial fishing, port expansions, tourism and research opportunities, and coastal development are but a few of these uses. How do we measure the effects of these activities, prioritize them, and make allocation and use decisions while at the same time ensuring that new and existing activities do not degrade the health and function of ocean ecosystems?
In early June 2009, Senate Commerce Chair Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) sent a letter to the Obama administration calling for the development of a federal marine planning framework. That same week, President Obama issued a Memorandum to Executive Departments ("National Policy for the Oceans, our Coasts, and the Great Lakes") establishing an Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force to be led by CEQ. Within 90 days, the Task Force is to develop recommendations for a comprehensive national policy that protects the ecosystems of our oceans and lakes, a framework for coordinating the efforts to improve such stewardship that includes national security interests, and an implementation strategy with prioritized objectives. Within 180 days, the Task Force shall "develop, with appropriate public input, a recommended framework for effective coastal and marine spatial planning," which "should be a comprehensive, integrated, ecosystem-based approach."
Effective MSP will require extensive geospatial data and the coordination of dozens of laws that impact ocean governance and the cooperation of a score of federal agencies. This seminar explored the rationale for marine spatial planning (MSP) and science, law, and policy efforts underway to develop MSP. Panelists discussed efforts to map biological, physical, jurisdictional, and human use data in order to inform management decisions. They also addressed legal and policy options for implementation.
James Walpole, Chairman, Ocean and Marine Resources Committee, DC Bar
Jordan Diamond, Law Fellow, Environmental Law Institute
Michael Weiss, CEQ Deputy Associate Director for Oceans and Coastal Policy
Margaret A. Davidson, Director, NOAA Coastal Services Center
Edward Saade, President & Managing Director, Fugro EarthData, Inc.
David E. Preble, Chair, New England Fishery Management Council Habitat/Marine Protected Areas/Ecosystems Committee; U.S. Commissioner, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization
Steve Roady, Attorney, Earthjustice
Click here for more information on ELI’s Ocean Series
The 2009 Ocean Seminar Series is made possible by generous support from the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation
Attendees are invited to bring a brown-bag lunch.
Download an mp3 recording of the event.
Download a PDF summary of the event.
Weiss Task Force