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Plan for Regional Ocean Use Gets Public Comment in Portsmouth

Jason Moon for NHPR

A group representing New England states and federal agencies held a meeting Sunday in Portsmouth to get public input on their plan to coordinate the use of the region’s ocean resources.

The Northeast Regional Planning Body was designed to coordinate the interests of a whole host of parties interested in how the ocean gets used, from commercial fishing to transportation to national security. The group includes representatives from all six New England states and nine federal agencies.

  Betsy Nicholson of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration presented the draft version of the Northeast Ocean Plan.

“The outcomes are transparency to the public, predictability for marine industry, and accountability for government.”

Some who attended raised the concern that the plan over represented the view of academics and didn’t include enough industry perspective.

The public comment period on the Draft Northeast Ocean Plan continues until July 25. The plan then goes to the White House. If approved, the plan’s recommendations will inform the policies of several federal agencies.

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