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Proposed CMSP Process

This document briefly reviews the major steps outlined in the Interim Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (Interim Framework).  In the Interim Framework, the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force (Task Force) recommends that a National Ocean Council (NOC) and regional planning bodies (RPBs) undertake CMSP.[1]  The proposed process for accomplishing CMSP begins with the development of NOC guidance and continues, through several steps, to the adoption, implementation and adaptation of coastal and marine spatial plans ("CMS Plans"). The following summarizes the major steps along with national and regional responsibilities proposed in the Interim Framework.   

Major Steps in the Task Force's Interim Framework for CMSP

Step 1.  The President establishes the National Ocean Policy and framework centered on the NOC and   places CMSP leadership and oversight in the NOC. 

Step 2.  The NOC develops overarching CMSP objectives, performance standards, process guidance, a template for regional Development Agreements, and an interagency dispute resolution process.

Step 3.  Federal agencies, states, and tribes prepare for engagement in the CMSP process.

Step 4.  Federal agencies, states, and tribes ("Signatories") establish RPBs and create Development Agreements. Signatories agree to be bound by NOC's dispute resolution system.

Step 5.  The RPB Signatories submit Development Agreements to the NOC for evaluation and approval.

Step 6.  RPBs develop Work Plans for conducting the CMSP process and developing CMS Plans.  Each Work Plan establishes milestones, identifies resources, specifies time frames, ensures that regional CMSP processes incorporate essential elements into each CMS Plan; and states the dispute resolution process.  

Step 7.  The NOC evaluates and approves Work Plans according to whether they (1) conform to national objectives and performance standards and (2) provide for regional objectives and performance standards.

Step 8.  The RPBs develop CMS Plans according to the process outlined in their NOC-approved Work Plans.  Each region's CMSP process and Plan account for the essential discrete steps and elements identified in the Task Force's Interim Framework.

Step 9.  The NOC evaluates each CMS Plan for conformance with the national objectives and performance measures, as well as with regional objectives and performance measures identified in the Work Plans.

Step 10.  Signatories implement CMS Plans using existing authorities and informal agreements. Over time, state and federal agencies incorporate the CMS Plans into their ongoing operations or activities.

Step 11.  The NOC and RPBs evaluate the success of Signatories and other relevant agencies in attaining national and regional objectives and performance standards.

Step 12.  CMSP is conducted over time as an adaptive management process. In accordance with the Interim Framework, NOC and RPBs ensure that regional CMS Plans reflect changes in agencies' enabling legislation and/or regulations as well as conditions on the ground or in the water. The NOC and RPBs ensure that Plans change as necessary to reflect developments in national and regional objectives and performance measures.

[1] This summary is based on the Interim Task Force Framework and not the Final Framework.  Therefore the summary and steps outlined here could change substantially.

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