A New Wave and a Ripple Effect

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Through the New Wave blog series, we’ve heard from many new voices in the CMSP community, sharing information about their marine planning efforts. The goal of the New Wave series is to share lessons learned from a new leaders in marine planning to generate conversation among coastal professionals. Reading examples from across the United States, we’ve seen that coastal and marine planning is not only possible in the Northeast; it is happening right now from the U.S. Pacific to the U.S. Caribbean.

Though each CMSP process is unique, the challenges faced by coastal managers have familiar themes. Stakeholder outreach, funding, and political will are the most common issues we have heard during CMSP-AT project. However, U.S. coastal managers now have several successful examples of how to solve these challenges. Several states and regions are addressing these concerns today, with the goal of bringing coastal authorities together to improve decision making about our public trust. Challenging? Yes; but what better cause, and what better time to bring a better balance a thriving economy with a healthy sea?

We’ve heard from eight leaders, each sharing one step in the marine planning process from their region. Each of these leaders is a resource within their own region, as well as for other regions. These blogs were written by professional coastal managers, tribal representatives, and non-profits. Remember that government agencies are only one piece of this effort. In California, the “Blue Tech” Industry has a Maritime Vision for California- specifically calling for Marine Spatial Planning, which you can read here.

This blog series is just one element of the popular Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning – Advancement Training program’s in-person and online classes. To date, CMSP-AT has trained nearly 200 decision makers in coastal and marine planning, in 7 of the National Ocean Policy planning regions, representing 27 of 35 coastal states, commonwealths, and territories. Each person has a story to tell about the challenges and success they have seen on the front lines of marine planning. Sharing these stories is just one way we are building a peer-to-peer network for the marine planning community.

While this set of waves has come to an end, if you are working on marine planning, or you are trying to move your region closer to integrated decision making, please let us know through coastalmarinespatialplanning [at] gmail.com, and we can help tell your story. Building a community of coastal professionals involves sharing, connecting, and learning from each other. We hope that this New Wave is only the First Wave of many more to come!