Marine Planning
Practical Approaches to Ocean and Coastal Decision-Making


The seas are no longer a wide-open frontier. Human activities that affect the ocean's health are growing rapidly in variety and intensity, creating more potential for negative impacts and conflicts among uses. Existing management systems are insufficient to address the increasing impacts and to balance multiple planning objectives across sectors. Many organizations and agencies recognize the need for proactive, coordinated efforts to plan and manage human activities through ecosystem-based management (EBM) and marine spatial planning (MSP).

What's the Problem?

Marine and coastal ecosystems are declining worldwide. Five major factors are driving this decline: overfishing, pollution, coastal development, climate change and fractured governance. Read more...

Humans in the Ecosystem

The practice of marine and coastal management is being transformed with a new understanding of linked social-ecological systems and a worldview of people as embedded in the ecosystem. Read more...

The Multi-Objective Approach

Managers and planners must balance an increasing diversity and intensity of human activities. Ecosystem-based management (EBM) and marine spatial planning (MSP) provide frameworks for addressing this challenge. Read more...

Image credits top to bottom: Chee-Onn Leong; Peter Marshman; Keith Carver
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