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“Spatial” planning on Washington’s Pacific Coast

Before you begin reading the commentary below, a few terms might need to be defined:

Spatial planning, according to Wikipedia, refers to the methods used by the public sector to influence the distribution of people and activities in spaces of various scales. Discrete professional disciplines which involve spatial planning include land useurbanregionaltransport and environmental planning. Other related areas are also important, including economic and community planning. Spatial planning takes place on local, regional, national and international levels and often result in the creation of a spatial plan.

There are numerous definitions of spatial planning. One of the earliest definitions comes from the European Regional/Spatial Planning Charter[1] (often called the ‘Torremolinos Charter’), adopted in 1983 by the European Conference of Ministers responsible for Regional Planning (CEMAT): “Regional/spatial planning gives geographical expression to the economic, social, cultural and ecological policies of society. It is at the same time a scientific discipline, an administrative technique and a policy developed as an interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach directed towards a balanced regional development and the physical organisation of space according to an overall strategy.”

Numerous planning systems exist around the world. Especially in Northwestern Europe spatial planning has evolved greatly since the late 1950s.

 “Ocean Acidification” is another Agenda 21 term for the supposedly “endangered” oceans with a changing pH balance. According to Science and Public Policy, this is just another “global warming” scare to achieve control of the people.  See the Science and Public Policy story here.  (Or down the pdf here – acid_test.)







Comment by Pearl Rains Hewett

Posted 7/26/2013

Written comments will be accepted until 5 pm, September 23, 2013
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP)
After a long and trying session, Washington lawmakers approved $3.7 million for coastal and marine spatial planning onWashington’s Pacific Coast in their final budget on June 27th 2013.
Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council (WCMAC) under the executive office of the governor

Public Comment Scoping Document – Washington Marine Spatial…/2013/07/MSP_scoping_document.pdf
0 secs ago – Marine Spatial Plan on Washington’s Pacific Coast – Scoping Document. 1  As part of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), scoping is conducted to  Written comments will be accepted until 5 pm, September 23, 2013.  boundary for Washington Coast’s Marine Spatial Plan (MSP) and to improve 
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Surfrider Foundation Washington

VICTORY! Marine Spatial Planning, Ocean Acidification funded by the Washington State Legislature. WCMAC Established under Governor’s Office

Marine Spatial Planning (MSP)
After a long and trying session, Washington lawmakers approved $3.7 million for coastal and marine spatial planning on Washington’s Pacific Coast in their final budget on June 27th 2013.
Marine spatial planning will help protect priority ecological and recreational areas on Washington’s coast through a process that brings together stakeholders and managers and captures vital information on ocean uses and resources in order to minimize user conflicts.
Ocean Acidification and the WCMAC
On May 21, 2013, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation to create the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council (WCMAC) under the executive office of the governor. This council convenes stakeholders and managers to address issues facing marine waters and shorelines along Washington’s Pacific coast and will be a lead advisor to the State on marine spatial planning. Surfrider Foundation’s Casey Dennehy serves on this body as the representative for ocean and coastal recreational users. The bill also established a new Washington marine resources advisory body to pursue actions on Ocean Acidification in partnership with the University of Washington.
Huge thanks to ocean champions in the legislature and to Washington chapters who campaigned for this critical funding to provide long-term protection of our coast during this legislative session.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Future of Marine Spatial Planning undecided as legislature takes a break

In order for Marine Spatial Planning to move forward for Washington’s Pacific Coast, the State Legislature needs to secure several million dollars in the state’s budget. Yesterday, April 28th, state law makers allowed the last day of regular session to pass by without agreeing on a final budget. As a result, funding for Marine Spatial Planning is uncertain.

Marine Spatial Planning kicked off on Washington’s coast with seed money from the State in 2012. Just last week, stakeholders and managers met in Aberdeen to discuss the goals for this process that would help shape the future of human uses on our coast. Casey Dennehy, Surfrider’s Washington Coast Project Coordinator, attended these meetings and spoke in favor of protecting special places for recreation and healthy 



The State Legislature will reconvene on May 13th and try to reach a compromise on numerous budget items, including Marine Spatial Planning. Hopefully they will do the right thing for our ocean and coast and continue the great work that has been started to map existing uses and consider how to balance new uses while protecting human enjoyment and a healthy ocean.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Proposed GPT Coal Terminal Receives Resistance

Opponents were out in force over the past 120 days voicing concerns about the Gateway Pacific coal export Terminal (GPT) proposed just north of Bellingham.  Agencies have received over 20,000 comments and a final number is still pending. The Washington Surfrider Chapters attended several of the 6 scoping comment hearings.  Most notably, the Northwest Straits Chapter made a strong presence at the first hearing in Bellingham and then the Seattle Chapter turned out for the final hearing held at the Washington Convention Center.  Activists submitted comments based on our love for marine recreation and passion for clean, healthy shorelines and oceans here in Washington. All the issues raised during the last four months must now be studied prior to the release of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
For Surfrider Foundation, the issues we raised included impacts to beach access cut off by intense train traffic, coal dust pollution on marine waters and public health, and the threat of a major oil spill from increased shipping of coal on coastal waters. Our comments were amplified the night of the Seattle public hearing when Seattle Treasurer Nemesia Herzstein spoke in front of over 1000 people at the Seattle hearing.  Click here for the YouTube video.
The comment period officially ended on January 22ndand the future timeline is not necessarily clear at this point. The DEIS was expected to be completed by the end of 2013 but with such an outpouring of resistance during the scoping period it may take longer to complete the required studies identified through the scoping process. Once the DEIS is published then the public will be invited again to comment.
After months of hard work on the ground and through various media channels, opposition to the coal terminal was apparent. Please check back here, through our newsletter, or attend a chapter meeting if you are interested in continuing to follow the process.  It was a great effort by all those involved and now a little break is in order but it’s important to remember all that was done so when it’s time to comment again everyone with concerns is prepared.



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ocean Acidification – a plan and a call for action

Governor Gregoire left another legacy for Washington today when she signed an executive order calling for action on ocean acidification. The order acts on the recommendations of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification who released their final scientific report and recommended actions this morning. 
One of the most visible impacts of ocean acidification is the corrosive effects on shellfish. In Washington, shellfish growers have seen these impacts firsthand, witnessing the die off of juvenile oysters because their shells could not form properly in increasingly acidic waters.
The Blue Ribbon Panel recommends 42 actions to address ocean acidification, including efforts to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, to minimize sources of local land-based pollution, including storm water, to invest more in research and monitoring, and to increase public awareness.
Washington State has fast become a national leader on responding to ocean acidification.  Learn more about State efforts.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Swimming Beaches in Puget Sound get a failing grade

In 2011, one quarter of thebeaches monitored around Puget Sound were found to be unsafe for swimming because they failed to meet water quality standards. Since monitoring water quality at popular recreation beaches began in 2004, the number of unsafe beaches has increased by 12 percent.

The Puget Sound Partnership just released their 

2012 State of the Sound report. In the report, swimming Beaches is just one of many indicators that suggests Puget Sound is imperiled and not improving. However, the report is not all bad news – over one thousand shellfish beds have been reopened to harvest and over two thousand acres of habitat have been restored. For more details, read the press release.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Celebrate Raptober!

Plastic trash is rapidly becoming one of the top threats to our ocean environments. Each year over one million seabirds and one hundred thousand marine mammals die from ingestion of, or entanglement in, plastic.  Even worse, in some areas of the ocean the amount of suspended plastic particles now outnumbers the ambient plankton!
For the entire month of October the Surfrider Foundation and our friends at Rusty will be celebrating Raptober.  We’ll be sharing plastic related facts as well as tips on how to reduce your individual plastic footprint.  Plus, special membership deals are available for a limited time. Learn more at

Latest Updates – NOAA Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning


Marine Spatial Planning: The Key To Our Crowded Oceans. …. BOEM’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessment found that there would be …. as international waters, and will be implemented through an action plan due in 2013.  are maritime spatial planningimprovedknowledge of the marine environment, 

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