One of our goals at New England Science & Sailing (NESS) is to get people comfortable with being in the water. With more people comfortable with in the water, the greater the chances that people understand and respect the ocean and what’s happening within it. These current and future stewards of the ocean will benefit from a comprehensive ocean plan – creating new generations of ocean users who are invested in the process.
The sailing in and around Stonington, CT, proves to be a salient metaphor for the importance of ocean planning on both a local and regional scale. The students have to balance their activities in concert with fishermen, the Navy, and recreational users. We’re out there using the ocean, and we need access, especially in certain areas where we want to connect to certain ecosystems. Right now we can access the coves, but what if the submarines want to go through there? Our interest in ocean planning is to provide continued access to areas for education– and in doing so, create future engaged users who will benefit from and be invested in ocean management for decades to come.
Just as it takes an ample amount of communication and collaboration between everyone at the local level to ensure that no two uses are in conflict with each other, a regional ocean management plan ensures the same success for all who frequent New England’s working waterfronts, coasts, and ocean.