Marine Planning
Practical Approaches to Ocean and Coastal Decision-Making

Policy: USA – Regions


CMSP Regions

Map courtesy of NOAA

The national ocean policy subdivides the United States into nine regions (see map) for coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP). In each region, a Regional Planning Body (RPB) will develop and implement a CMS plan. As of this writing, the RPBs are not yet established. However, state and federal agencies in some regions have begun collaborating to develop ocean planning and governance approaches that span state and federal jurisdictions.

In five of the nine regions, Regional Ocean Partnerships (ROPs) have been established, including the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC), Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on Oceans (MARCO), Governors’ South Atlantic Alliance, Gulf of Mexico Alliance, and West Coast Governors’ Agreement. Each ROP was formed through Governors’ agreements with varying levels of federal participation. In the coming years, the existing ROPs will either directly support or become formal RPBs that implement CMSP and manage large-scale public processes.

Regional-level Action by The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is contributing scientific, technical, and policy expertise to assist these regional efforts. The following are examples of the Conservancy’s activities to date.

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