The US initiative to enact a region-by-region process of coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) took a step forward in November 2012 with the meeting of the Northeast regional planning board. It was the first such meeting of a CMSP regional planning board. The blogs below document that meeting, and the additional updates profile new materials or programs developed to support the national and regional efforts.

Blogs at OpenChannels

The US's First Regional Ocean Planning Body Meets
By Sean Cosgrove

"It's Good to Be Here and Get It Started": Ocean-Use Planning Moves Forward in New England
By Sandra Whitehouse

Powerful Partners Team up for Nation's First Regional Ocean Plan
By Robin Just

Fact sheets available on ocean planning in US

The New England Ocean Action Network – a coalition of NGOs, educational and research institutions, fishing associations, renewable energy providers, and other ocean users – has published a series of brief fact sheets on ocean planning efforts at the US national level and in the country's Northeast (New England) region. The fact sheets, as well as other resources on US ocean planning, are at

US coastal decision-makers invited to register interest in attending training workshops on coastal and marine spatial planning

The Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning Advancement Training (CMSP-AT) project team is inviting US coastal decision-makers to register their interest in attending training workshops on coastal and marine spatial planning. The first US regions to host CMSP-AT will be the US Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico. Coastal decision-makers outside these initial training regions are encouraged to register for future training opportunities.

The advancement training will begin during the first half of 2013. Participation will be by invitation only and accepted on a space-available basis. To be included, coastal decision-makers are encouraged to register their interest as soon as possible by visiting CMSP-AT is produced by the Battelle Memorial Institute in association with the Coastal States Organization, and is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Short films highlight MSP opportunities for fisheries and offshore renewable energy

Two new short films – on fisheries and renewable energy, respectively – are the latest in a four-part series that explores ocean planning through interviews with practitioners from around the world, with a particular focus on the US. The fisheries film, "Ocean Planning: Enhancing and Protecting Our Fisheries", examines how integrated planning across multiple user groups can help resolve economic and environmental issues facing the fisheries sector ( The renewable energy film, "Advancing the Ocean Economy: Renewable Energy", shows how offshore energy development relates to ocean planning and how the industry can support economic development (

The video series is produced by the Rhode Island Sea Grant Program and partners. The Rhode Island team hosted an international symposium on marine spatial planning in May 2012, at which most of the video interviews were conducted. The series' first film, "America's Ocean Economy: Challenges and Opportunities", is available at