Ecology: Marine Spatial Plan on Display

In the future, Washington could receive requests for a host of new projects along the Pacific coast that include renewable energy, dredging disposal, mining, marine product harvesting, military uses, and offshore aquaculture operations, the Department of Ecology said in their latest release.

Ecology has been leading a state effort to plan and prepare for these potential new coastal uses.

Working together with the state departments of Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources, the state has created new science-based guidance for making decisions about the most appropriate locations for different types of projects and uses.

The state’s proposed marine spatial plan would establish a process for coordinating among local and tribal governments, as well as with state and federal agencies to ensure interest groups and the public have opportunities to weigh on future projects.

The draft plan is now out for public review and comment, Ecology said.

The state worked closely with local and tribal governments, other state agencies, the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council, environmental and planning groups, the private sector and the public to develop the plan.

Ecology will host public meetings in November and take comments on the draft plan.

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