The MA Ocean Plan suggests appropriate locations for new ocean uses, potentially affecting existing uses in those areas. The State requested MOP’s assistance in assessing and developing methods to quantify the economic impact of management decisions on displaced uses for use in plan development and implementation.
The MOP team developed a set of options for quantifying the economic impact of new uses on displaced uses based on research of compensatory mitigation efforts in other areas and interviews of stakeholders involved in mitigation for previous projects in MA waters.
Role in Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning
A transparent compensatory mitigation framework based on sound methods and best available data will be useful specifically in the state’s implementation of the MA OMP and, more generally, would be helpful in implementing any ocean management plan.
Challenges & Applications
While the interviews and research conducted were specific to the situation in MA and focused on one use, the methods for quantifying economic impact are potentially transferable to other locations and could be adapted to examine a range of other human uses. The challenges to implementing some of these options include obtaining the appropriate data for the analysis and having support for the chosen method from the ocean stakeholder that are most likely to be impacted.
Commercial fishing is an existing water dependent use that is likely to be impacted by the siting of new uses. Effective methods are necessary for quantifying the economic impact of new uses on potentially displaced uses like commercial fishing.