A confluence of seminal reports and recommendations (including Waves of Change— Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force, 2004; and the US Commission on Ocean Policy recognized the need for a comprehensive, ecosystem-based approach to ocean management for both current and emerging ocean uses. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation allocated funds to advance the science and practice of CMSP in three areas in North America, including New England, which ultimately seeded creation of the Massachusetts Ocean Partnership.
MOP conducts outreach to and engages a broad range of stakeholder partners, integrates best available science and tools, and seeks to disseminate lessons to ultimately foster resilient ocean ecosystems so they can provide the goods, services and sustainable economies we all want and need. The public-private partnership involves both a formal relationship with the state through a Memorandum of Understanding and collaborations with stakeholder organizations ranging from simple information exchange to collaborative projects.
Role in Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning
MOP advances multiple projects which support all aspects of CMSP—a comprehensive listing can be found on the All Stakeholder and Science Projects page.
Challenges & Applications
MOP funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation supported the state’s development and initial implementation of the MA Ocean Plan (the first comprehensive ocean management plan in the nation), and continuing resources are required to support MA Plan evolution and formal revision in 2015, and to transfer valuable information, products and processes to similar ocean planning efforts in the Northeast region and elsewhere.
Three essential ingredients for CMSP are: 1) planning authority, 2) financial and intellectual resources, and 3) broad-based stakeholder participation. An effective public-private partnership can support formal government-led planning initiatives by providing enhanced capacity for timely science integration and stakeholder involvement and by serving as a neutral convener for informal dialogue.