• The Aspen Institute Releases Report on the Ocean Conservation Community (CRS Newswire)

    From: CRS Newswire

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 09 /CSRwire/ – The Aspen Institute Energy & Environment Program has released The Ocean Community Report on the success and efficacy of ocean conservation and marine protection planning, based on a year-long study of strategies for building a more coordinated and aligned marine conservation movement.

    In this report, made possible with support from the Waitt Foundation, the Institute shares key findings and recommendations coming out of two studies and an expert dialogue, and highlights methods for improving the way that the ocean conservation community, its funders, and its key decision-makers align their efforts.

  • Charting a Way Forward for America’s National Maritime Policy (Maritime Executive)

    From: Maritime Executive

    The current issue of The Maritime Executive posits a coming “American maritime renaissance,” while simultaneously drawing attention to America’s embarrassing neglect of maritime policy.  When the ongoing national maritime policy debate turns, as it soon must, to an examination of the alternatives to craft a “way forward,” let’s hope our nation’s leaders have the wisdom to tap into the resources of the academic community, including the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Center for Maritime Policy and Strategy.

    U.S. Maritime Policy and Strategy

  • Go-ahead for Humber marine energy park (Planning Resource)

    From: Planning Resource
    Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has approved plans for a new port on the Humber Estuary to serve the offshore wind energy sector after concluding that the adverse impacts of the scheme in relation to protected wildlife habitats could be mitigated.
    McLoughlin has granted development consent for Able Humber Ports’ marine energy park on the south bank of the Humber Estuary at Killingholme in North Lincolnshire and associated development including an ecological compensatory scheme on the north bank of the Humber Estuary.In August, McLoughlin asked for more details on several aspects of the application including the risk that mitigation measures would not work and assurance that the scheme would not jeopardise any future operations of the Killingholme Branch railway.Conservation groups including the RSPB had protested that the project would destroy 55 hectares of estuarine mudflats in a special protection area designated under the European wild birds directive. A decision letter issued today said that McLoughlin noted in the August letter that there was “no dispute that the project would result in both a significant effect on, and an adverse effect on the integrity of, the Humber Estuary Special Area of Conservation, Special Protection Area and Ramsar site (“the European sites”)”. But letter said that the secretary of state has now concluded that there are “no realistic alternatives to the project with lesser impacts on the sites protected under the European Union Habitats Directive”. It said that on the risk that the compensatory measures would be ineffective, government advisor Natural England had down-graded its assessment from a “substantial risk” to a “residual risk”. The letter also said McLoughlin had received adequate assurance from the applicant that the project would not jeopardise any future operations of the Killingholme Branch railway. McLoughlin found that that the benefits of the project, “if fully realised, in terms of its contribution to the local, regional and national economy, its contribution to sustainable energy and carbon reduction, and the creation of employment opportunities in a disadvantaged area, are of major significance”. The letter concluded: “The secretary of state is satisfied that these benefits would outweigh significantly the residual adverse impacts of the project after mitigation and after taking in to account the proposed ecological compensatory measures. He therefore agrees with the panel’s recommendation that development consent should be given for the project”. Angus Walker, a partner at law firm Bircham Dyson Bell who acted on behalf of Able, said: “The granting of this complex application will significantly improve the UK’s manufacturing capabilities and is great news for both the Humberside economy and the offshore renewable energy sector”.
  • 3 Steps to Community-Driven Ocean Zoning (National Geographic)

    Posted by Ayana Elizabeth of Waitt Institute in Ocean Views on December 16, 2013
    Co-authored with Will McClintock

    Ocean zoning is a simple concept. As on land, where there are industrial, commercial, residential, agricultural, and conservation zones, you can’t do everything in the same place at the same time in the ocean. Zoning ensures that each key use of the ocean is allocated appropriate space, and these different uses don’t conflict.

    However, accommodating the preferences of multiple stakeholders, balancing the various uses of the ocean, and ensuring science and data are the foundation of decision making is no small undertaking. This big task is what we are taking on in Barbuda with the Blue Halo Initiative, a collaboration with the Barbuda Council (local government) and citizens of Barbuda, funded by the Waitt Institute.