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Ocean Planning

Protecting coastal and ocean resources, reducing potential user conflicts, and facilitating compatible uses.

The goal of ocean planning is to protect coastal and ocean resources, reduce potential user conflicts, and facilitate compatible uses. People use the ocean's resources for food, energy, shipping, recreation and more. In recent years, there have been major advances in understanding and mapping the resources and uses of New England's coastal and ocean waters. And now federal and state agencies are looking into the use of offshore renewable energy and its impacts on our coastal resources.

New Hampshire's participation in regional ocean planning occurs through its membership in the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC), a federal and multi-state partnership formed in 2005 by the Governors of the New England states. NROC's mission to provide a voluntary forum for New England states and federal partners to coordinate and collaborate on regional approaches to support balanced uses and conservation of the Northeast region's ocean and coastal resources. New Hampshire is represented on NROC by the NHDES Coastal Program. More information on these efforts can be found in Fact Sheet CP-23 Ocean Planning: Protecting Coastal and Ocean Resources.

 

fishing boats and pier in the foreground, Memorial Bridge in the background.

Data and interactive maps of the ocean ecosystem 

The Northeast Ocean Data Portal is a centralized, peer-reviewed source of data and interactive maps of the ocean ecosystem and ocean-related human activities in the northeastern United States. 

Northeast Ocean Data Portal  

Humpback whale breaching.

Informing and guiding federal, state and tribal acitivites  

The Northeast Ocean Plan describes the use of data, agency coordination, and stakeholder engagement that will inform and guide Federal, State, Tribal and New England Fishery Management Council activities under existing authorities.  

Northeast Ocean Plan  

lobster boats and lobster traps at a dock.

Forum for state, regional and federal partners 

The Northeast Regional Ocean Council provides a voluntary forum for New England states, regional organizations, and federal partners to coordinate and collaborate on regional approaches that support balanced uses and conservation of the Northeast region’s ocean and coastal resources.

Northeast Regional Ocean Council  

Gulf of Maine Offshore Renewable Energy Task Force

In January 2019, Governor Sununu requested that the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) establish an intergovernmental offshore renewable energy Task Force to facilitate coordination and consultation among federal, state and local governments on renewable energy commercial leasing proposals in federal waters offshore of New Hampshire. Given the regional nature of offshore wind energy development, BOEM established a Gulf of Maine Renewable Energy Task Force that includes representation from New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and federally recognized tribes in the region. The New Hampshire Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) serves as the federal liaison to BOEM for this effort. 

For additional information on the Gulf of Maine Renewable Energy Task Force, including a list of New Hampshire appointees to the Task Force, the Draft Task Force Charter, and Task Force meeting agendas and minutes, please visit OSI’s Offshore Renewable Energy Task Force website and BOEM’s Gulf of Maine website.

Watershed-Management
Program Coordinator
[email protected]