• CRE White Paper Evaluating the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan

    The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) has been monitoring developments with Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP).  Because of the limited experience with CMSP, the CRE has prepared a White Paper evaluating the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan to gain some insight on CMSP.  In doing so, the CRE analyzes the results of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan and how those lessons can be applied to the National Ocean Council’s implementation of CMSP.

    Despite becoming “one of the most widely endorsed tools for integrated management of coastal and marine environments,” there is very little actual experience supporting the claims that CMSP is beneficial from a policy standpoint.  Thus, the purpose of the  White Paper is to evaluate one of the earliest coastal and marine spatial plans, the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan.

    The Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan is the first comprehensive marine spatial plan in the United States.  Specifically, despite the huge undertaking, the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan was completed in a very short time period, which likely led to some of its shortcomings outlined in the White Paper.  Notwithstanding, the CRE has identified both the strengths and weaknesses of the Massachusetts Plan.  The benefit of this analysis is not necessarily for the revision or modification of the Massachusetts Plan, but rather to foster a comprehensive discussion for stakeholders and policymakers on CMSP more generally.  Accordingly, Massachusetts’ experience with the Ocean Management Plan provides some important lessons for the United States as it implements its nationwide ocean planning system through CMSP.

    CRE is pleased to submit the attached report for the public’s comments, An Evaluation of the Massachusetts Ocean Plan and its Implications for Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning in the United StatesCRE will continue to monitor developments on its Ocean Zoning Interactive Public Docket, which is available at http://www.thecre.com/creipd/.

    The White Paper is available in its entirety here: Evaluation of Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan


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