Marine Spatial Planning in the United States

Triangulating between state and federal roles and responsibilities

Authored by: Stephen B. Olsen , Jennifer McCann , Monique LaFrance Bartley

Routledge Handbook of Ocean Resources and Management

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415531757
eBook ISBN: 9780203115398
Adobe ISBN: 9781136294822


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Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is an expression of comprehensive spatial planning that identifies use-priority areas and allocates user rights within geographically defined zones (Sanchirico et al., 2010). MSP may therefore be viewed as an extension of land use zoning into marine areas and works to separate incompatible uses and thereby reduce conflicts among users (Sanchirico, 2004; Chowder et al., 2006; Agardy, 2010). MSP in the United States is seen as an expression of ecosystem-based management that calls for:

analysis, planning and decision making that considers the entire ecosystem, including humans, and evaluates the cumulative impacts of diverse human activities in order to regulate human activities in a manner that maintains or restores an ecosystem to a healthy, productive and resilient condition that provides the services that humans want and need.

(McLeod et al., 2005)

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