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Mid-Atlantic Ocean Plan Reaches Milestone

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The Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (MidA RPB) recently released the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Plan (the Plan) for public review and comment. The Plan represents a major milestone for the regional ocean planning process and is expected to guide federal agencies regarding offshore economic development and marine ecosystems conservation from New York to Virginia and seaward out to 200 nautical miles.

Although this Plan will not hold any regulatory authority, it is intended to provide a forum that addresses management challenges and opportunities while supporting sustainable ocean uses, and maintaining healthy ecosystems.

A key resource informing ocean planning is the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal (Data Portal). The Data Portal provides a central, publicly accessible location for interactive ocean mapping and information and enables federal, state, Tribal, regional, and local decision makers, as well as the general public, to visualize and analyze ocean resources and human use information for the Mid-Atlantic. Additional components of the Plan include best practices and a series of actions to achieve the region’s ocean planning goals and objectives.

The Plan is open for public comment until September 6, 2016. The MidA RPB is also hosting a series of open house sessions and plan to participate in stakeholder meetings throughout the region during the summer 2016 to present the draft Plan. A final plan will be submitted to the National Council for concurrence in fall of 2016.  

 To view the Plan, visit BOEM.gov.