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Environment

N.H. Officials Seek Public Input In Ocean Plan

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Northeast Regional Planning Body
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http://www.northeastoceandata.org/maps/maritime-commerce/#

New Hampshire citizens got a chance Monday night to weigh in on a first-of-its-kind ocean plan at a hearing in Portsmouth. Officials from across the region are working on recommendations on how to use federal waters.

This is a big committee. It includes representatives from the six New England states, ten Native American tribes, ten federal agencies, and the region’s fisheries regulator.

The goal is to balance the various uses of the ocean beyond three miles off-shore.

Steve Couture of the Department of Environmental Service’s Coastal Program, says there’s a lot going on out there: recreation, fishing, shipping and potentially energy projects like Cape Wind.

“That’s where you have potential conflicting uses. This is an attempt to get ahead of those types of scenarios,” he explains.

DES commissioner Tom Burack, and Fish and Game director Glenn Normandeau are New Hampshire’s delegates on the committee.

Any recommendations coming out the body are non-binding and wouldn’t be ready until next year.