The MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), as directed by the MA Oceans Act of 2008, held a series of Public Listening Sessions across the Commonwealth to acquire initial input from the broader general public and stakeholder groups.
The Massachusetts Ocean Partnership provided technical and logistical support for the 18 Public Listening Sessions held in September and October 2008. We provided support for event transcriptions, notification, public relations, and archival webcasting.
Role in Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning
To be effective, coastal and marine spatial planning must be an inclusive, responsive and transparent process. This massive effort not only provided multiple opportunities for public/stakeholder input from the outset but also facilitated education and outreach about the MA ocean planning process and coastal and marine spatial planning.
Challenges & Applications
Regionally inclusive public listening sessions are a resource intensive undertaking, demanding significant time investment and financial resources for documentation, webcasting and public relations support. This approach was well received and greatly appreciated by both the general public and stakeholder groups—it is a tried and true method to enhance process transparency and foster inclusivity.
|Broad-based public and stakeholder input is essential to effective coastal and marine spatial planning—making the effort to interact with and listen to the public builds social capital, good will and ultimately improves the final Plan.|