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Ocean Planning in the Northeast

Website for the Northeast Regional Planning Body Northeast RPB Projects Baseline Assessment

Baseline Assessment

To support ocean planning in the Northeast, a Baseline Assessment summarizes available information about natural resources and human uses while also conducting new analysis to characterize the region’s coastal and ocean economy. This document draws upon information from the Northeast Ocean Data Portal and provides links to more in-depth sources of information. Importantly, the Baseline Assessment informed development of the Northeast Ocean Plan.

Readers can either download the entire Baseline Assessment (PDF) (173pp, 5.7M) or use the following links to access different sections of the document, including related maps:

Section 1. Executive Summary

Section 2. Introduction

Section 3. Resources and Infrastructure
Describes marine and coastal natural resources, cultural resources, infrastructure, and population trends in the Northeast.

Section 4. Coastal and Marine Economy
Describes employment and GDP contribution, commercial fishing and aquaculture, recreation and tourism, marine transportation, manufacturing and construction, energy and minerals, national security, and research and education.

Section 5. Mapping Resources to Economic Value Generation
Describes what is known about links between Northeast marine resources and value generation as well as ecosystem services that contribute to the well-being of residents and visitors.

Section 6. Future Trends
Describes climate change and the effects on sea surface temperatures, salinity, pH and related ocean acidification as well as demographic changes expected for the Northeast.

References and Appendices

Color Maps

Maps (8.5 x 11”) are available for separate download:

Project Team

The project team included researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Marine Policy Center, the University of Southern Maine, the University of Massachusetts Boston, and the New England Aquarium. A project work group with representatives from the NE RPB provided input and reviewed the Baseline Assessment while the Data Portal Working Group incorporated spatial information into the Northeast Ocean Data Portal.

Northeast RPB News

November 15 Northeast RPB Data Workshop Remote Access Webinar Available

November 14, 2017— Webinar available for remote access to November 15 RPB Data Workshop.


Ocean Planning Timeline

  • November 2012 Inaugural Northeast RPB Meeting: Develop common understanding about the RPB; provide context and lay foundation of regional ocean planning; engage stakeholders and the public, discuss initial focus.
    April 2013 Northeast RPB Meeting: Northeast RPB Meeting: Identify draft goals for regional ocean planning and mechanisms for receiving public input about those draft goals; provide opportunities for public input about topics under consideration.
    May/June 2013 Public Comment Meetings: Ten public meetings throughout New England to discuss draft regional ocean planning goals.
  • January Northeast RPB Meeting: approve goals and objectives; move forward on related tasks.
    May/June Public Engagement: Natural Resources Workshops and focused engagement to discuss progress toward goals of effective Decision-Making and Healthy Ocean and Coastal Ecosystems.
    June Northeast RPB Meeting: Review progress toward all goals.
    Fall Public meetings/workshops and Northeast RPB meeting: Feedback on progress toward each goal.
  • Spring Stakeholder Forum: Review progress on the use of marine life and ocean use data, regulatory coordination, and future scenario development.
    June Northeast RPB Meeting: Review approach to developing draft plan by considering agency use of ocean plan data products; discuss draft outline for regional ocean plan.
    Fall Northeast RPB meeting and public meetings: Review revised products for each goal; discuss future work of the RPB.
  • Winter EBM Working Group: Review progress on Draft Northeast Ocean Plan, marine life and habitat data product development, including IEAs Framework.
    Spring Northeast RPB Meeting (via webinar): Release Draft Plan for public review.
    Summer Collect public comment on the Draft Plan through public meetings and other opportunities.
    Fall September public webinar to review changes to the Draft Plan and October submittal of revised Plan to the National Ocean Council.
  • Winter Northeast RPB members and federal principals of the National Ocean Council sign Plan Adoption Memo.
    Spring See Events and Meetings
    April Informational webinar to prepare for stakeholder forum.
    May Stakeholder forum and RPB public meeting.

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