Improving California's Ocean Management Structure: Potential for a Comprehensive Marine Spatial Planning Program
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California’s history with ocean resources is riddled with overuse and degradation. It wasn’t until a new chapter in California's ocean governance started that the state began to address these problems. An examination of existing legislation, policy and management highlights that significant gaps in California’s ocean management still exist. The major gaps are lack of coordination between ocean management institutions and lack of attention to the spatial aspects of human use of the ocean. One way to fill in these gaps is to create a comprehensive marine spatial planning (MSP) program for California’s waters. A set of criteria was applied to examples of MSP initiatives both abroad and in the US in order to determine the “success” of each program, and what could possibly work for California if it were to adopt an effective MSP program. California has three options for establishing a statewide marine spatial planning program for its ocean spaces. These options are establishing MSP 1) under the current legislative regime, 2) by amending an existing law or adding a new statute, or 3) through a comprehensive revamp of ocean legislation. Each option was arrayed against select criteria—resources needed; political feasibility; amount of change to current structure; effectiveness towards achieving goals; and durability and robustness of approach to determine which would be the best avenue for the implementation of marine spatial planning in California’s state waters. Option 1 cannot achieve successful MSP and it is unlikely that MSP will develop under Option 3 because of a lack of political will to revamp California’s ocean legislation. It appears as though Option 2 is the most practical for California to implement MSP at this time.
CitationGilroy, Margaretmary (2014). Improving California's Ocean Management Structure: Potential for a Comprehensive Marine Spatial Planning Program. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/8503.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment