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Title: Stakeholder Engagement in Marine Spatial Planning – Case of the Long Island Sound Blue Plan

Authors: Michaela Garland*,
Topics: Coastal and Marine
Keywords: Marine spatial plan, stakeholder engagement, Blue Economy, Long Island Sound
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2020
Start / End Time: 2:25 PM / 3:40 PM
Room: Virtual Track 9
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Within the last 20 years, marine spatial planning efforts have increased around the world. Initially, marine spatial planning was associated with establishing marine protected areas (i.e., the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park). It was only until recently that more attention has been placed on managing the multiple uses of the marine environment for sustainable development to take place as the Blue Economy concept and paradigm continues to gain popularity. In 2015, Public Act 15-66, An Act Concerning a Long Island Sound Blue Plan and Resource and Use Inventory, was initiated by the Connecticut state legislature. Recognizing that Long Island Sound is critical for Connecticut’s economy and fearful of the next unwanted offshore development, Connecticut needed a comprehensive plan that would better organize the analysis of, and response to, proposals for offshore developments. Marine spatial planning is considered to play a significant role in promoting, implementing, and developing Blue Economy sectors, and if developed and implemented correctly, the Blue Plan offers a potential opportunity for a sustainable Blue Economy to take place in Long Island Sound. Therefore, in recognizing the importance of stakeholder engagement in marine spatial planning efforts and in drawing on my role as a participant-observer in the development of the plan, on dialogue with the public during the public review period of the plan, and on an analysis of the public documents made available, I examine if the current planning mechanisms are appropriate for developing a just and sustainable Blue Economy in Long Island Sound.

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