December 7 marks the one-year anniversary for the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan.
Demands to use the ocean and its natural resources are rapidly expanding. Offshore shipping traffic is increasing, demand for ocean mining is growing, plans for large offshore wind energy projects are becoming a reality, and our region’s government agencies are making big decisions that will greatly impact the health of our waters and coasts for decades to come.
At the American Littoral Society, protecting the ocean and coast from harm is central to our mission and we believe that careful, coordinated ocean planning is a useful tool to help sustain the ocean in light of these increasing demands.
To mark this occasion, we at the Littoral Society are looking back on what has happened during the first year of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan.
First, federal, state, and tribal interests, with support from local stakeholders from a variety of ocean user groups, did the following:
It is not just the Littoral Society that sees the value of the Plan’s actions. States, New Jersey municipalities, and recreational fisherman also recognize the benefits that ocean planning is bringing to their communities and specific interests. Here’s what they’re saying:
"We have a significant responsibility to provide leadership that will protect our coastal economy and a healthy ocean. Supporting the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan enables us to do exactly that." – Asbury Park Mayor John Moor
"As a coastal city, we recognize that our health is directly tied to the health of our ocean and coast. Supporting the Ocean Action Plan helps ensure the long-term health of not only our beaches, but also our residents, and our tourism economy." – Asbury Park Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn
“I hope that every municipality in Ocean County, as well as in the state, will follow suit and support this Ocean Action Plan to ensure that New Jersey's greatest natural amenity is protected and improved for generations to come." – Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato
“I’ve seen firsthand how knowledge sharing and proactive ocean planning will greatly improve the execution of sand mining projects offshore. With greater input and coordination among all of us who rely on special places off our coast, I’m more confident we won’t unnecessarily sacrifice our fishing spots to replenish our beaches.” - Ken Warchal, vice president of the Jersey Coast Anglers Association
This coming year, the second year of plan implementation – will provide more opportunities to engage in and support ocean planning. Sign up for the Littoral Society newsletter to stay on top of the latest developments.
If your time allows, mark your calendar to join us in-person at the next Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body meeting on January 24, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 3 office, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Click here for more information and to register.