A plan to improve management facets of the ocean and coasts of the northeastern U.S. states is headed for its final public hearings in Rhode Island and Maine.
The second-to-last hearing about the Northeast Regional Ocean Plan is scheduled for Wednesday night at the Coastal Institute of the University of Rhode Island in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
The last one is Thursday night at Glickman Library of the University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine.
The ocean plan is an outgrowth of the National Ocean Policy established by presidential executive order in 2010. It deals with many aspects of ocean planning, including marine life and habitat, commercial and recreational fishing, and discusses national security.
The plan includes three major goals — healthy oceans and ecosystems, decision making, and compatibility among ocean uses past, present, and future. The plan states that over time, it will adapt to future needs and a changing environment.
The Northeast Ocean Plan also provides a data portal with interactive maps -- illustrating information on energy, marine life, and water quality among other data from the New England area. The document states that the data is peer-reviewed and intended to inform the organization's decision making process.
The public comment deadline for the plan is July 25.
If the plan remains on schedule, the Northeast Regional Planning Body will meet in September to approve the revised plan, which will then be given to the National Ocean Council for review and approval.
This report includes information from the Associated Press. Katie Burns is a WNPR intern.