Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: Ocean Policy Director Michael Conathan on Release of Draft Northeast Regional Ocean Plan
Press Statement

STATEMENT: Ocean Policy Director Michael Conathan on Release of Draft Northeast Regional Ocean Plan

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Northeast Regional Planning Body, or Northeast RPB, publicly released the first draft Regional Ocean Plan, pursuant to the Obama administration’s National Ocean Policy. The Regional Ocean Plan is designed to better integrate data on human activities, regional stakeholder interests, and natural resources off the Northeast coast and formally incorporate that information into federal ocean governance. The Northeast RPB was established voluntarily in 2012 and is comprised of representatives from the six New England states, ten federally recognized tribes, eight federal agencies and departments, and the New England Fishery Management Council.

Center for American Progress Director of Ocean Policy Michael Conathan released the following statement:

Today, ocean governance in U.S. waters enters a new era of economic development, collaborative management, and science-based decision-making. The states and tribes of New England, their federal partners, and stakeholders across the spectrum of ocean users should be lauded for seizing the opportunity created by the National Ocean Policy to chart a new course in maritime governance. As the success from state-level ocean planning demonstrates, efforts such as this one will pay dividends to the Northeast in the form of a diversified economy and a healthier ocean for generations to come.

The release of this draft Regional Ocean Plan should be seen as a model for other areas along America’s coasts. It will ensure the voices of New England states and tribes are heard in federal ocean resource management and slash through needless red tape and mistrust that bog down regulatory decisions about ocean and coastal use and protection.

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For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at or 202.481.7141.