New England’s Planning Process

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Regional ocean planning in New England is underway. Here is the latest news, and ways to find more information and get involved.

Northeast Regional Planning Body

The Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) is holding its November meeting Thursday, November 13th – Friday, November 14th, in Portsmouth, NH at the Marriott Wentworth by the Sea. You can register here if you plan to attend. The meeting will be for public review, revision, and approval of the draft goals, objections, and actions for regional ocean planning in the Northeast. You can find meeting agenda, materials, and summary documents here and submit your comments to the RPB’s comment portal. The RPB has requested that comments be made as soon as possible to allow for ample review time.

You can find the Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Timeline for 2012-2015 here. “This timeline provides an overview of regional ocean planning activities in a three phased approach. Planning efforts are currently in Phase 1, which includes laying the foundation and framework through data development, information gathering, engagement activities, and goal setting.”

Northeast Regional Ocean Council

The Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) has new state and federal co-chairs: Jeff Willis of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council and Mel Cote of the EPA. There has been an upgrade to the Northeast Ocean Data Portal. According to NROC’s John Weber this upgrade includes “enhanced interactive maps and a redesigned home page.” For other NROC news you can read their latest newsletter.

Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan

The Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan is currently undergoing a 5 year review. This process, which began in January 2013, resulted in the May release Draft Review of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan and Draft Scope of Updates  to the 2009 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan which were open for public comment in June and July. These documents are currently under revision by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, in cooperation with the Ocean Advisory Commission and the Ocean Science Advisory Council.

Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan

The Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan now has a Practitioners Guide to Managing Ocean Resources through Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning available for download.

Your Item Here

If you or your organization have regional ocean planning updates or calendar items to share please email Robin Just: . Thanks!


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Calendar of Events

October 17, 2013
World Premiere of Ocean Frontiers II – A New England Story for Sustaining the Sea.

More info



Latest Updates

Read about our latest updates

May 2, 2017: Stakeholder Forum – Northeast Ocean Plan
The Northeast Regional Planning Body is convening a stakeholder forum prior to the upcoming NRPB meeting.  The stakeholder forum is open to the public and...
May 18: ‘Ocean Frontiers III’ Film Screening
The crew that brought us Ocean Frontiers: The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship and Ocean Frontiers II: A New England Story...
May 24, 2017: Northeast RPB Public Meeting
The Northeast Regional Planning Body (NRPB) will convene its next public meeting on May 24 at the National Marine Fisheries Service GARFO office in...