Ocean Planning & Policy News, June 2013
· NEO Passes the Senate The Senate adopted the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) by a decisive 68-31 vote. The bill includes the authorization of the creation of a National Endowment for the Oceans (NEO), which will provide not immediately provide funding for oceans, coasts and Great Lakes. However, it provides the structure for funding streams to be directed in the future toward research about and management of the oceans. WRDA also authorizes several Army Corps of Engineers projects, including restoration projects on the Gulf Coast.
State and Regional Planning
· (New England) Northeast RPB Public Hearings The Northeast Regional Planning Body is holding a series of public meetings in May and June to solicit feedback on their draft regional ocean planning goals and associated potential actions. Meeting details and draft goals are available here. If you are not available to attend but would like to provide input, please do so by June 28, 2013 at the link above.
· (MA) Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan Review: Public Meetings In January, on behalf of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), CZM initiated a process to review the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan according to the requirements of the 2008 Oceans Act. A draft review document that reports on progress made to date and opportunities for enhancement has been developed and reviewed by the Ocean Advisory Commission and Ocean Science Advisory Council. An upcoming series of meetings will serve as an initial venue to present the scope of proposed revisions to the plan. Meeting details are available on the Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Body website.
· Fishermen travel to Europe to Learn about Ocean Planning A group of fishing community leaders from New England and Mid-Atlantic states traveled to England in March to learn how the British have approached marine spatial planning for wind power siting while preserving fisheries and marine habitats. The travelers are now engaged in reporting the lessons learned from this trip to fishing communities in the US northeast.
· (ME) UMaine unveils unique base for floating wind turbine that could provide glimpse into future The University of Maine unveiled the floating platform of VolturnUS, a one-of-a-kind offshore wind turbine that officials hope will shape the future of energy in Maine. The unit will be disassembled, trucked to Cianbro in Brewer, and put back together before the entire upright turbine is hauled down the Penobscot River to a spot off the coast of Castine. VolturnUS will be the first grid-connected floating wind turbine in North America and the first concrete-composite floating turbine in the world.
· (Northeast) Interior to auction Atlantic Ocean lease in U.S. firstThe Interior Department announced that next month it will hold its first competitive lease sale for offshore wind in the Atlantic Ocean. The department on July 31 will auction the rights to develop two wind farms on more than 250 square miles off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, an area believed to contain nearly 3,500 megawatts of wind power.
· (MA) As An Offshore Wind Hub, Can New Bedford Light The World Again?This month, the state began construction on a $100 million purpose-built port to transport offshore wind equipment to sea. New Bedford is anticipating that this will bring jobs and money into a long-struggling community.
· (MA) High five off MassachusettsThe US National Renewable Energy Laboratory is investigating options for up to five leasing areas in the federal wind energy zone off Massachusetts. Officials are preparing a draft assessment due 13 June based on 5MW turbines and projects of at least 500MW and potentially up to 2000MW. Final recommendations to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management are expected 20 July following consultations on the initial results. The work is part of preparations for competitive auctions for offshore wind development rights on the Massachusetts outer continental shelf. Up to 3000 turbines could in theory be accommodated in the area, according to presentations released as part of a BOEM teleconference this month.
· (RI) Deepwater Wind agrees to run its cable underground in NarragansettStalled negotiations between town officials in Narragansett and Deepwater Wind, over the landing of a 21-mile cable that will connect Block Island to the mainland’s power grid, led to a change in the company’s proposal. The Narragansett Town Council voted unanimously to suspend negotiations with Deepwater Wind until June. Deepwater Wind announced that the company would revert to a plan that calls for the cable to run underground from its landing at the town beach to a switching station about a mile away.
Upcoming CMSP-Related Conferences and Events
· Energy Ocean International, June 10-12, Providence, RI. For More Information
· Commercial Marine Expo, June 12-13, Hampton, VA The Port of Hampton Roads is the largest port complex in the United States, encompassing Norfolk, Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk and Virginia Beach. Commercial Marine Expo is the only B2B trade show representing this robust maritime marketplace. Click here to receive exhibitor or attendee information.
· Ocean Conservancy’s CMSP web page includes basic information on the principles of CMSP as well as a list of relevant links.
· NOAA’s website on CMSP includes news, meeting notices and resources such as maps and boundary information.
· The National Ocean Council (NOC) website provides background on the National Ocean Policy. The NOC’s data portal provides access to Federal data to support ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes regional planning processes.
· Regional ocean governance bodies have been established by the Governors to set coastal and ocean use, management, protection, and restoration priorities. The following regions have websites with further information.
o South Atlantic Alliance (SAA)
· New England Ocean Action Network’s (NEOAN) website NEOAN is comprised of individuals and organizations from the region’s environmental community, recreational interests, educational and research institutions, industry, clean energy field, and other ocean users, industries, and stakeholders. NEOAN supports, monitors, and comments on NROC's efforts to develop a comprehensive, region-wide ocean planning process and will advocate for the development of a plan. For information on how to join NEOAN, please visit the website.
· Marine Spatial Planning Practitioners Guide This guide describes the process Rhode Island went through to develop the Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) and strategies to achieve the goals of the SAMP.
· CMSP Fact sheets are available for the following states/regions by request:
o Gulf of Mexico, Mid Atlantic, South Atlantic, New England, Washington, Hawaii and California
· Maps of existing ocean uses are available for the following regions by request:
o Mid Atlantic, Southeast Atlantic, Northern New England, Southern New England and Pacific
Did We Miss Anything?
Please let us know if you are aware of issues in your area that we have not included, if there are details we have missed or if there are topics on which you’d like to have more information.