Tundi’s Take: Acknowledge the land-sea connection, even if it takes you from your comfort zone as a marine manager
By Tundi Agardy, MEAM Contributing Editor. firstname.lastname@example.org
By its very nature, EBM requires that we address how ecosystems are connected and factor that into management. But what does it mean for our community of marine and coastal managers when inland ecosystems are among those connections?
Although the community generally acknowledges that being "ecosystem-based" requires considering both land and aquatic systems when developing our management regimes, doing that is not easy. And it does not come naturally to most marine management agencies.
In the US, marine spatial planning is a central component of the national ocean policy, and is being carried out on a phased basis across nine regional planning areas (MEAM 4:1). The planning process for the northeast region of the US is underway (https://www.openchannels.org/node/3300).
Nick Napoli is the Ocean Planning Project Manager for the Northeast Regional Ocean Council, which covers the US states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Much of his work involves ensuring that a wide array of data sets is available to the Northeast regional planning process. The data-gathering work grew from a multi-institutional partnership that formed in 2011 – the Northeast Ocean Data Working Group, consisting of government agencies, NGOs, research institutes, and others. MEAM spoke with Napoli about the challenges involved in this and how he anticipates the data needs may change over time.