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Overview and Summary of CZM’s Regional Ocean Partnerships

Find details on major partnerships that focus on ocean issues in the Northeast and involve the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM).

On behalf of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), CZM serves as the lead state agency for ocean planning—working with other state agencies to balance competing uses of ocean waters while protecting ocean habitats and promoting sustainable economic development. Because ocean issues extend beyond state jurisdictional boundaries, CZM serves on several regional ocean partnerships and works closely with these organizations to coordinate and collaborate on sound ocean management and monitoring approaches within and beyond the Bay State’s borders.

List of Partnerships

  • Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) - Established in 2015, NROC is a state and federal partnership whose mission is to provide a voluntary forum for New England states, regional organizations, and federal partners to coordinate and collaborate on regional approaches that support balanced uses and conservation of the Northeast regions’ ocean and coastal resources. Following the establishment of the Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) in response to the Obama Administration’s National Ocean Policy (Executive Order 13547), between 2012 and mid-2018, NROC supported the RPB’s development of the Northeast Ocean Plan (certified by the National Ocean Council in December 2016) and its implementation. In June 2018, the Trump Administration issued Executive Order 13840 (PDF, 178 KB), which established a new ocean policy and federal Ocean Policy Committee. EO 13840 recognizes Regional Ocean Partnerships as the primary vehicle for ocean planning activities throughout the nation. NROC’s Ocean Planning Committee will essentially take on the task and continue to coordinate issues related to ocean planning in New England, as well as with the federal Ocean Policy Committee. CZM holds the Massachusetts seat on NROC and serves actively on its committees.
  • Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment - This regional organization was established in 1989 by the Governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts to foster cooperative actions within the Gulf of Maine watershed. Its mission is to maintain and enhance environmental quality in the Gulf of Maine to allow for sustainable resource use by existing and future generations. CZM is the Massachusetts representative on the Council.
  • Northeast Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS) - Formed in 2008, NERACOOS is a regional nonprofit organization that leads and coordinates the development, implementation, operation, and evaluation of a sustained, regional coastal ocean observing system for the northeast United States and Canadian Maritime provinces, as part of the United States Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). NERACOOS seeks to promote the development, assessment, and dissemination of data and data products that meet the needs of end users. CZM serves on the NERACOOS board and on its Strategic Planning and Implementation Team.

For additional information on CZM’s ocean planning and management activities, see the Ocean Management Program.

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