Ocean planning is a public process that brings together different ocean stakeholders– including recreation, conservation, fishing, energy and government– to make informed decisions about how to use the ocean sustainably. Ocean planning reduces conflict among different uses, protects the natural environment and provides clear guidelines for private industry and developers. The Surfrider Foundation is a key stakeholder in ocean planning efforts, making sure recreational ocean users are heard in the public process.
Across the country, states and regions are beginning to use ocean planning to address the many competing uses off their coasts. In particular, ocean planning is being used to identify locations for renewable energy projects that will reduce impacts on the environment and existing users (e.g., surfers, fishermen). Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Oregon are some of the states that have developed spatial plans for their ocean waters, with other regions and states in the U.S. now following suit.
The Surfrider Foundation believes that ocean planning provides an important opportunity to protect 'special places' such as ecological and recreational areas before they are threatened by potential development. In New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the West Coast, Surfrider Foundation has emerged as a key stakeholder in ocean planning, representing recreational ocean users in the public planning process.
Surfrider's engagement in MSP includes:
- Participation of recreational ocean users
- Public outreach and education
- Mapping and data collection of non-consumptive uses
- Dialogue with other stakeholder groups