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Implementing Regional Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning

April 2012

Citation: 42 ELR 10346

Issue: 4

Author: Richard G. Hildreth and Lynne M. Nickol

Coastal and marine spatial planning involves a comprehensive approach to ocean management based on science, politics, the environment, and economic
goals. Unfortunately, the needs of the ocean do not follow the arbitrary jurisdictional boundaries that have been drawn between the states, the federal government, and other countries. Due to the interjurisdictional nature of the oceans, an integrated regional plan would significantly benefit the West Coast waters and ocean resources. Through the use of the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution, cross-boundary regional coastal and marine spatial planning could be accomplished in a way that would integrate the individual needs of each jurisdiction while still considering the ocean resources on an ecosystem-based scale.

Richard G. Hildreth is a Bernard B. Kliks Professor of Law and Director of the Ocean and Coastal Law Center at the University of Oregon School of Law. Lynne M. Nickol is a 2012 J.D. candidate, Conservation Trust Project Fellow, and Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation staff editor at the University of Oregon School of Law.

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