Marine Spatial Planning

south coast MPAs
Photo Credit: MarineMap

There have always been many different commercial, recreational, security, and natural uses of the coastline, but until now, there has been very little coordination and planning of what types of activities and uses can occur and co-occur in coastal locations. The Ocean Policy Task Force, created by President Obama in 2009, defines coastal and marine spatial planning as "a comprehensive, adaptive, integrated, ecosystem-based, and transparent spatial planning process, based on sound science, for analyzing current and anticipated uses of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes areas." The goal of coastal and marine spatial planning is to identify the areas most suitable for various types of activities "in order to reduce conflicts among uses, reduce environmental impacts, facilitate compatible uses, and preserve critical ecosystem services to meet economic, environmental, security, and social objectives."

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(213) 740-1961
National Focus Area
Sustainable Coastal Development