The regulatory authorities of the waters off the coast of New England are complex—a mosaic of state, local, tribal, and federal agencies all have jurisdiction over certain areas and activities. New ocean uses may fall under multiple authorities, or may lack clear oversight. There must be a clear and transparent process by which each distinct, yet interconnected ocean uses—and distinct, but related regulatory authorities—can coexist and work together. Ocean planning provides opportunities to improve the implementation of these existing authorities and coordination among government agencies, especially as new uses of the ocean are considered.
The federal-state partnership through the Coastal Zone Management Act has been one of the focal points in recent discussions. The NOAA Office of Coastal Management developed this Discussion Paper (PDF) (23pp, 20k) with potential options.