‘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