Decision Support for the Economic Analysis of Trade-offs in Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning for the U.S. Northeast (Regional)

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Project Type: 
Research
Project Number: 
RR/RCE-1
Inception Date: 
2012
Completion Date: 
2014

Participants:

Porter Hoagland Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Principal Investigator
Abstract: 

The Northeast Regional Ocean Council's framework for coastal and marine spatial planning, in accordance with the National Ocean Policy, requires tradeoff analyses of different spatial marine use scenarios for a given region. How do communities decide which ocean user to favor where? What are the costs and benefits of various spatial planning arrangements?

Such analyses incorporate ecological, social, and economic data; descriptions of ecosystem populations and flows; and existing and potential human uses. Hoagland's team will adapt regional economic impact models of the northeast coastal economy to assess changes in the spatial and temporal distribution of human uses and activities in the Northeast. The models will then be adapted to three case studies: spatial fisheries management in the Gulf of Maine, wind power siting in the Gulf of Maine, and wind power siting off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Accomplishments: 

2015

Northeast regional research contributes to decision support regionally and locally

A Northeast regional effort developed and refined a decision-support methodology for the evaluation of socio-economic tradeoffs in coastal and marine spatial planning that was used regionally and locally.
Relevance: Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) is a process for improving the management of coastal and marine resources in order to promote their sustainable development. Sustainability necessitates that decisions be made about the existing and future spatial and temporal distributions of human uses (and non-uses) of the coastal and marine environment. Such decisions require methods for making tradeoffs. Existing state-level planning efforts, particularly in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, have been designing approaches for making CMSP tradeoffs, but these methods are still emergent.
Response: Researchers funded by the Northeast Sea Grant Consortium developed an economic methodology based on models of spatially distributed regional economic impacts to characterize the tradeoffs among alternative CMSP policies. A secondary objective demonstrated the practical utility of the methodology using ecological and socio-economic data relating to the coastal ocean of the U.S. Northeast region.
Results: Northeast Regional Sea Grant Consortium funding was instrumental in positioning the research team to make useful contributions to decision support regionally within the context of the activities of the Northeast Regional Ocean Commission (NROC), and locally within the context of fisheries mitigation for the siting of wind generators at Deepwater Wind's Block Island Wind Farm. The project resulted in several oral presentations, posters, and publications and supported eight graduate students and one law student.

2014

Regional research develops, refines decision-support for economic analysis of trade-offs in coastal and marine spatial planning
The primary goal of this research is to further develop and refine a decision-support methodology for the evaluation of socio-economic tradeoffs in CMSP. CMSP is a process for improving the management of coastal and marine resources in order to promote their sustainable development. Sustainability necessitates that decisions be made about the existing and future spatial and temporal distributions of human uses (and non-uses) of the coastal and marine environment. Such decisions require methods for making tradeoffs. Existing state-level planning efforts, particularly in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, have been designing approaches for making CMSP tradeoffs, but these methods are still emergent. Our primary objective is to develop an economic methodology based upon models of spatially distributed regional economic impacts to characterize the tradeoffs among alternative CMSP policies. A secondary objective is to demonstrate the practical utility of the methodology using ecological and socio-economic data relating to the coastal ocean of the US Northeast Region.

This regional effort was directed toward the development and refinement of a decision-support methodology for the evaluation of socio-economic tradeoffs in coastal and marine spatial planning.

2013

Economic methodology developed to characterize tradeoffs among alternative coastal and marine spatial planning policies

This regional effort is directed toward the development and refinement of a decision-support methodology for the evaluation of socio-economic tradeoffs in coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP). CMSP is a process for improving the management of coastal and marine resources in order to promote their sustainable development. Sustainability necessitates that decisions be made about the existing and future spatial and temporal distributions of human uses (and non-uses) of the coastal and marine environment. Such decisions require methods for making tradeoffs. Existing state-level planning efforts, particularly in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, have been designing approaches for making CMSP tradeoffs, but these methods are still emergent. This project has developed an economic methodology based upon models of spatially distributed regional economic impacts to characterize the tradeoffs among alternative CMSP policies. A secondary objective demonstrated the practical utility of the methodology using ecological and socio-economic data relating to the coastal ocean of the U.S. Northeast Region.