CRE Transmits its Recommendations on Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning
CRE has been monitoring developments with Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP). CRE recently submitted the report below to the National Ocean Council (NOC) on CMSP. The Department of Interior (DOI) has implemented the Smart from the Start Initiative, which CRE believes will undermine the efforts of the National Ocean Council‟s development of CMSP. CRE prepared a white paper outlining how the Smart from the Start Initiative will set back CMSP.
The Smart from the Start Initiative intends to streamline the leasing process for offshore wind energy by establishing Wind Energy Areas (WEAs), which are ocean locations that DOI has designated as particularly well suited for the development of offshore wind projects. Specifically, the WEAs established by DOI under the Smart from the Start Initiative undermine CMSP for the following two reasons:
- Certain stakeholders are cut out of the process, especially fishermen and shipping. This is well reflected in recent a bipartisan letter signed by Senators and Congressmen, urging DOI to provide these stakeholders with a greater opportunity for input.
- The creation of WEAs involves ocean zoning for particular uses with limited public participation. The WEAs are zoning ocean areas without taking a comprehensive approach to the current and anticipated future uses of the oceans.
The CMSP is designed to use a comprehensive approach in allocating the best way to utilize the United States‟ ocean resources. The scale of the CMSP is great, but so will its long-term benefits. However, zoning WEAs under the Smart from the Start Initiative in the Atlantic ahead of the comprehensive spatial planning in the CMSP, undermines the purpose and effectiveness of the CMSP. Establishing WEAs before CMSP is implemented is not comprehensive ocean planning and is not the “smart” solution for stewardship over the United States‟ oceans.
In the attached report CRE concludes:
“The Smart from the Start Initiative is in direct conflict with President Obama’s National Ocean Policy that calls for CMSP. CMSP requires a comprehensive, transparent plan that considers current and anticipated uses of the United States’ Oceans. The WEAs do not adequately integrate the current uses of the ocean areas, such as for fishing and shipping.”
CRE’s study is available below:
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