Rhode Island’s Ocean SAMP is featured throughout an article published in the June 2015 issue of the ocean policy studies journal “Marine Policy.” The issue is available online now. The nonprofit consulting firm Redstone Strategy Group authored the article, which assesses the economic impacts of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) by examining five case studies, including the Ocean SAMP, for which CRC led much of the planning, development and implementation.
Excerpts regarding the Ocean SAMP include recognition that the plan is “recognized within the ocean planning community for balancing multiple uses effectively.” Recognition of fishermen’s rights also is noted in the piece: “In Rhode Island, after outreach and trust-building, commercial fishermen shared their closely-held fishing data to preserve fishing grounds.”
The article identifies Rhode Island among the global players who have brought robust stakeholder involvement to MSP: “Ocean planning in the US, Australia, and the Netherlands has brought together stakeholders who have often been at odds in the past. The Great Barrier Reef, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island plans emphasized proactive outreach, stakeholder input, and incorporating that input into the eventual plans.”
The article goes on to state: “In Rhode Island, the plan secured a wind farm lease for 200–500 MW of offshore wind capacity, the first time a major offshore wind development had been approved in the US.” As far as the plan’s role in protecting marine resources, the article notes that “Rhode Island’s work to ensure consistency between federal and state policies has already benefited marine ecosystems. In 2013, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management modified its offshore wind lease zone in Cox’s Ledge to accommodate concerns that wind development would harm important fish spawning areas. The federal government removed over 80 sq miles from leasing, approximately a quarter of the final lease area.”