Ocean Protection, Marine Spatial Planning
July 21 2017

Mid-Atlantic Ocean Planning Body Makes Progress

by Matt Gove

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (RPB) has started working on many of the actions outlined in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan, approved in December of 2016. The group held a public meeting on June 20th in Silver Spring, Maryland to discuss current activities.

The RPB is a collaboration between Mid-Atlantic: States, federally recognized Tribes, the Fisheries Management Council and the relevant ocean Federal agencies. The planning body stems from the National Ocean Policy, established by the Obama Administration in 2010 in an effort to improve the ways in which our shared oceans are managed, increase ocean data, and better include stakeholders interests.

Throughout the RPB process, Surfrider has represented the interests of non-consumptive recreational users such as wildlife viewers, divers, surfers, and beach goers. We also collected unique geospatial and economic data on non-consumptive recreation, which is now located online in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal.  Surfrider will continue to be a key stakeholder in the ocean planning implementation processes, making sure that recreational users are involved.The Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (RPB) has started working on many of the actions outlined in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan, approved in December of 2016. The group held a public meeting on June 20th in Silver Spring, Maryland to discuss current activities.

Surfrider-relevant RPB actions include:

  1. Identify and Increase Understanding of Ecologically Rich Areas
  2. Develop a Mid-Atlantic Ocean Acidification Monitoring Network
  3. Develop Regionally Appropriate Marine Debris Reduction Strategy
  4. Develop, Monitor, and Assess Indicators of Ocean Health
  5. Sand Management: Promote Strategic Stakeholder Engagement
  6. Non-Consumptive Recreation
    1. Identify, characterize, and share information about measures to maintain the recreational value of important non-consumptive recreational areas and the actives they sustain

For more details, see the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan's 2017 Draft Annual Work Plan and Progress Report. The Mid-Atlantic RPB has invited the public to be part of the conversation. Please provide input to the MidA RPB in writing anytime via email at: MidAtlanticRPB@boem.gov.

Still confused about what ocean planning is? Watch this short film produced by the Surfrider Foundation and Chris Hannant of Swell Productions.

The Next Wave from Swell Productions on Vimeo.