New Guide Offers Best Practices For Drafting Marine Spatial Planning Legislation
May 2020

(Washington, D.C.)— Countries are increasingly turning to marine spatial planning to assess and organize present and future uses of their ocean environments. While resources on how to create a marine spatial plan are plentiful, little attention has been paid to how countries can give their marine spatial plans the force of law.

What is the Existing Framework for NEPA Assessment?

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires agencies to analyze the environmental impacts of major federal actions that will significantly affect the quality of the human environment. Agencies must consider the environmental consequences of proposed actions or projects, evaluate possible alternatives, and disclose information to the public before they issue final permits or other approvals.

Grenada and St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Marine spatial planning is an emerging ocean management tool that plans for and allocates multiple uses of the marine environment in a coordinated and spatially-explicit manner. The need for MSP has emerged out of the realization that most nations currently manage their marine environment on a sector-by-sector basis, which can result in conflicts among sectors and can also have cumulative, harmful impacts on the surrounding ecosystem.