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Ocean Planning in the Northeast

Website for the Northeast Regional Planning Body Public Comment

Ocean Planning Public Comments

The Northeast RPB is not currently seeking public comments on any particular topic. Anyone, however, is always welcome to leave any comments or questions through the public comment form below.

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Previous Public Comment Periods

2015 Recreational Characterization Survey

In winter 2015, the RPB launched a project to characterize recreational activities in the Northeast, gathering data about where, when, and how people recreate along the coast and in the ocean. Along with input from industry experts (operators and event organizers), stakeholder groups, and an RPB project steering committee, this study is being led by a project team that includes Point 97, SeaPlan, and the Surfrider Foundation.

Specifically, the study was collecting information on the following:

  1. Whale watching activities were characterized through a series of in-person workshops held with industry representatives throughout the region from late April to late May. For a workshop schedule, see the calendar on the bottom of the Get Involved page.
  2. SCUBA diving activities and marine events, including sailing regattas, saltwater sportfishing tournaments/derbies, and competitive board and paddle events. To help characterize these activities, participants were requested to take these surveys:
  3. SCUBA Survey

    Marine Events Survey

  4. Individual recreational uses, such as sea kayaking, surfing, and general beach use were characterized through a separate survey. For more information, to join the Stakeholder Working Group, or to view the list of Working Group members, please visit Anyone aged 18 years or older who has visited the coast between New York’s Long Island Sound area and the northern border of Maine at least once in the last 12 months was encouraged to participate:
  5. Non-Consumptive Ocean Recreation Use Survey

The survey period concluded in May 2015, and is currently undergoing data-vetting with industry, stakeholders, and the steering committee. Products will be made available in fall 2015 through the Northeast Ocean Data Portal and a written report. For more information on this study, contact Katie Lund,

Healthy Ecosystem & Effective Decision Making Options

In advance of the Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) meeting on November 13-14, a series of public events were held. These meetings included updates on the regional ocean planning effort and a discussion of two topics the RPB will focus on at its November meeting: options under the Effective Decision Making goal and the Healthy Ocean and Coastal Ecosystems goal. Comments on the options were accepted online, or at any of the public events held in October 2014. Comments submitted before October 31 were included in the RPB meeting materials, but were also accepted up to (and at) the RPB meeting in November 2014.

Advisory Functions

The Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) accepted online comments on the Advisory Function Options (PDF) (4pp, 220k) document in June 2014. Comments were also accepted at the RPB meeting itself on June 26, 2014.

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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