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EBC Ocean & Coastal Resources Program: Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Workshop
July 11, 2014 @ 7:30 am - 10:30 am
This program is sponsored by:
Building on ocean plans developed by Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) is currently developing an ocean plan for New England. The ocean plan will be completed by the end of 2016, and will inform and guide federal agencies’ implementation of existing ocean-related authorities.
The National Ocean Policy, established by Presidential Executive Order in 2010, called for the formation of nine regionally focused RPBs to better manage the nation’s oceans and coasts. New England was the first region in the nation to respond to this call, launching the Northeast RPB in November 2012. The Northeast RPB, which will develop the regional ocean plan to inform the operation of existing authorities, includes representatives from the six New England states, ten federally recognized tribes, ten federal agencies, and the New England Fishery Management Council.
The insight and participation of marine industries will be critical to a successful ocean plan. As one part of an extensive stakeholder engagement process, this workshop is an opportunity to get informed about how the plan is being developed and what it will address, and engage the planning team in discussion about how regional data and agency coordination can be used to support more effective decision making for projects and activities in New England waters.
The focus of the ocean plan is on state and federal blue-water, not near-shore estuaries or coastal watersheds. The plan will provide valuable data and information for all ocean interests, but the RPB is focusing specifically on review and regulatory efficiencies associated with NEPA review and Corps of Engineering permitting for the following four activities as key and emerging ocean uses:
- renewable energy development
- sand and gravel extraction
- deep water aquaculture, and
- carbon sequestration
On behalf of the RPB, SeaPlan and the ESS Group are co-sponsoring this EBC workshop to provide a detailed update and discussion about:
- The status of the regional ocean planning process (overview, goals and objectives, ongoing technical and planning work)
- The Northeast Regional Data Portal (overview, key data sets, new/derived data to be incorporated)
- Achieving regulatory efficiencies through data and agency coordination (overview, options being developed, workshop input)
For the regulatory efficiencies discussion in particular, participants in this EBC workshop will be invited to provide insights on such issues as:
- Are there recurring issues associated with types of data or NEPA/permitting procedures that the ocean plan could improve?
- Are there specific aspects of regulatory consultation for essential fish habitat, the endangered species act, marine mammal protection act, national historic preservation act, or other authorities that could be improved?
- What data would provide the most utility to marine industry if it were peer-reviewed through the planning process and presented as “best available science”?
- Would there be a benefit to having the plan provide guidance about pre-application meetings, field studies, alternative analyses, mitigation and monitoring, or other issues?
Please join us to contribute your expertise and learn more about the New England ocean plan.
Continuing Education Certificates are awarded by the EBC for this program (3.5 training contact hour). Please select this option during registration if you wish to receive a certificate.
- Deerin Babb-Brott, Senior Partner, SeaPlan
- Chris Rein, Principal, ESS Group, Inc.
- Nick Napoli, NROC Ocean Planning Project Manager
- Drew Carey, Marine Scientist, CoastalVision
Visit the Presentations section of the EBC website to view the available presentations from this program.
To get more involved in the Northeast Regional Planning Body or to join a work group please contact Nick Napoli, nnapoli(at)northeastoceancouncil(dot)org.