In April 2010, Meridian Institute facilitated a two-day workshop to bring together 24 ocean and coastal law and policy experts in Washington, DC, to identify and discuss legal questions surrounding the Obama Administration’s proposed process in the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force Interim Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning. The objectives of the meeting were to: (1) think critically about how the Administration’s proposed framework for coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) could be carried out using existing laws and regulations; (2) identify legal tools that could be used to implement CMSP, assess significant obstacles to the use of those tools, and identify how those obstacles might be overcome; and (3) identify needs for additional research, analysis, and/or case studies that will help further the understanding of how CMSP can be effectively implemented.
A paper entitled Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning: Legal Considerations was developed by the Environmental Law Institute and the Center for Ocean Solutions to serve as a launching point for further exploration during the meeting. Discussions resulted in a number of important questions and observations about the potential for implementation of CMSP under existing statutory authorities. Support for development of the paper and convening of the workshop was provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. A summary of key ideas and questions identified at the meeting is available from Meridian Institute.