image of whale breaching with large ship in the background


The Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) developed New England’s ocean plan.

Founded in 2012 as part of the National Ocean Policy, the Northeast RPB includes representatives from:

  • all six New England states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut),
  • six federally recognized tribes,
  • ten federal agencies, and
  • the New England Fishery Management Council.

The RPB has one federal, state and tribal co-lead who guide the implementation of the Northeast Ocean Plan. The current co-leads are:

  • Mel Coté, US Environmental Protection Agency, federal co-lead
  • Elizabeth James-Perry, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), tribal co-lead
  • Ted Diers, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, state co-lead

The National Ocean Policy  – established by Presidential Executive Order in 2010 – called for nine regionally-focused RPBs and charged each with creating plan for better managing its oceans and coasts, then overseeing the implementation of that plan. The RPB has no authority to create new regulations.

The Northeast RPB works in close conjunction with the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC). NROC 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. NROC includes an Ocean Planning Committee, which was established before the National Ocean Policy and the Northeast RPB to coordinate issues related to ocean planning and shares many members in common with the Northeast RPB.

Originally founded in 2005 by the governors of the New England states, NROC later expanded to include federal agencies. Where needed, NROC also works with bordering states and countries to address broader challenges.