Ocean zoning allows states to restrict uses of their waters to protect sensitive environmental systems and to restrict certain types of uses in designated areas while encouraging other types of uses. Moreover, a state can use ocean zoning initiatives to extend its influence beyond state territorial waters (usually three nautical miles) well into federal waters. That extended influence can affect the fortunes of those seeking to engage in all manner of activities, such as offshore alternative energy development, oil, gas and mineral extraction, recreational boating, commercial and recreational fishing, shipping and transportation, underwater cabling and communications, recreation and tourism, and aquaculture. This book is organized into four parts: the first two provide an overview of coastal zone management and ocean zoning approaches, and the second two focus on the development, design, and implementation of the nation’s first federally approved state ocean zoning plan, Rhode Island’s Ocean Special Area Management Plan.
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