Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP)


Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) is an ecosystem-based spatial planning process for analyzing current and anticipated ocean uses, and identifying areas most suitable for various activities. CMS plans can reduce conflicts among uses, reduce environmental impacts, facilitate compatible uses, and preserve critical ecosystem services to meet economic, environmental, security, and social objectives. In practical terms, CMSP provides a public policy process for society to better determine how the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes are sustainably used and protected - now and for future generations.

The Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force provide a framework for implementing CMSP. Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) boundaries are identified as the regional planning scale to initiate CMSP. Based on LMEs, there are nine proposed planning areas: Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf Coast, West Coast, Pacific Islands, Alaska, Great Lakes, and the Caribbean. For each region, a Regional Planning Body will be established and led by Federal, state, and tribal co-leads. 

BOEM is the Federal co-lead in the Mid-Atlantic region and designated DOI representative in Alaska, Gulf of Mexico, Northeast, and the West Coast.