In response to increasing pressures for ocean development, including offshore energy facilities, in 2003 former Governor Mitt Romney appointed then EEA Secretary Ellen Roy-Herzfelder to head a MA Ocean Management Task Force to examine threats to MA coastal waters and dependent economic sectors and develop recommendations to address them.
The 2004 Task Force report, “Waves of Change” concluded that coastal ocean ecosystems are in distress, typical sector-by-sector management is inadequate to address mounting demands for ocean resources and urged MA to embrace a new comprehensive approach to ocean management. The report identified 15 principles for comprehensive ocean management and recommended legislation be adopted requiring development a statewide ocean management plan.
Role in Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning
The work of the MA Ocean Management Task force in 2003-2004, and its report “Waves of Change”, laid the foundation for and guided the development of the first comprehensive ocean management plan in the Nation— the MA Ocean Plan.