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Southeast (US)


The Governors’ South Atlantic Alliance, formed by a partnership agreement among North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, established a regional collaboration to sustain the environmental, natural resource, economic, public safety, social and national defense missions of South Atlantic States.  The Alliance is co-led via partnerships with NOAA, the U.S. EPA and the USGS.

In 2010, the GSAA released an Action Plan identifying four priority issues:

  • Healthy ecosystems
  • Working waterfronts
  • Clean coastal and ocean waters
  • Disaster-resilient communities

In 2011, the GSAA followed up with an Implementation Plan to outline implementation steps for addressing each priority issue, and also developed an online portal to address the data and information needs outlined in these documents. The GSAA dissolved as an official regional ocean partnership in 2016. Although the proposal is to move to a less formal network, the future of the planning process in this region remains uncertain.

TNC’s Role

  • Scientific/technical expertise
  • Policy expertise

TNC is working to build framework components of MSP and incorporation into issue specific decision-making (e.g., sand management, offshore energy). TNC scientists also conducted the South Atlantic Bight Marine Assessment (SABMA), which resulted in regional baseline spatial data on the distribution and status of seafloor habitats, coastal systems, marine mammals and sea turtles. This project was partially funded by the GSAA which was interested into incorporating the results into the planning process.

Project Partners

Lead InstitutionGovernor’s South Atlantic Alliance

Other Partners: NOAASECOORASC Sea Grant


While there is interest in using components of the MSP process in issue-specific decision making, movement towards an official, approved regional plan in the Southeast is pending further action.

Fact Sheets and Project Links


Mary Conley
Southeast Director of Marine Conservation
Email: mconley@tnc.org

Photo Credit: (c) Sarah Hartman