Supporter

Jason Kelly

Executive Vice President, Moran Shipping Agencies, Inc.

Moran Shipping Agencies, Inc. is the largest independent steamship agency in North America today servicing over 100 ports from twenty full service offices around the country. As a representative of this critical part of the shipping industry, I have observed the challenges that arise when the numerous state and federal agencies that manage ocean uses are not coordinated in their decision-making and planning. As the ocean gets busier with projects such as offshore wind development and aquaculture facilities and changes are coming to the shipping industry due to canal expansions, it is more necessary than ever to take a holistic approach to planning for use of ocean space.

 

That’s why the ocean planning process being done by the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) makes sense to me. NROC provides a forum where agencies with ocean management responsibilities and relevant ocean stakeholders can come together to share information and plan for both sustainable development and ocean health. A critical part of NROC’s work is the development and maintenance of the Northeast Ocean Data Portal. One of the data layers is the maritime commerce map that was complied with input from multiple agencies as well as representatives from the maritime sector. Accurate information is essential to informed decision-making both by developers and managers. The plan for the Northeast that is due in 2016 will provide critical guidance to management agencies and allow them to operate in a more coordinated manner.’


©2015 Rick Friedman Photography

 

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Why We Need Ocean Planning

The ocean and coasts are active places, and we’re putting more demands on them every day. Think about it: traditional uses such as fishing, boating, shipping, recreation, and tourism are all changing and expanding, and at the same time we’re pioneering new industries alongside them like wind energy and sand mining. Ocean planning is about thinking ahead and planning for how to make it all work. Otherwise, we put the ocean’s vast, yet fragile, resources at risk. Voluntary ocean planning allows us to coordinate all these uses in a way that benefits our economy, our communities, and ocean health. Ocean planning is a science-based and data-driven process that provides a tool for people and government to work together, share information and solve problems in a way that works for everyone. Ocean planning helps to identify and resolve potential conflicts early on, helping decision makers and stakeholders in both the private and public sectors do their jobs better. This creates better outcomes for everyone, supporting a healthy ocean and vibrant economy

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