In New England, regional ocean planning activities and partnerships have been underway for several years. The Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) and NROC’s Ocean Planning Committee are helping lay a foundation for future planning needs.

January 22-23 RPB Meeting

UPDATE Based on guidance from the National Weather Service, we are delaying the start of the Northeast Regional Planning Body meeting scheduled for January 22-23, 2014. The meeting will now begin at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, January 22. We have modified the agenda accordingly. Please stay tuned to this website and future emails for additional details and any potential changes.

The next Northeast Regional Planning Body meeting will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, January 22-23, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge located at 575 Memorial Drive in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  On Wednesday, January 22, the meeting will begin at 10:00 am and adjourn at 6:00 pm and will be followed by a networking reception from 6:15 pm – 7:30 pm.  On Thursday, January 23, public registration will begin at 8:30 am, the meeting starts at 9:00 am and the meeting will adjourn at 4:45 pm.  See agenda for additional details and the meeting materials that will be discussed, and please register here to indicate your attendance at the meeting.

This meeting was originally scheduled for November 12-13, 2013, but was postponed due to the federal government shutdown.

The January 22-23 Regional Planning Body meeting will include a public review, revision, and approval of goals, objectives, and accompanying actions for regional ocean planning in the Northeast. It builds on previous RPB discussions and the extensive public input received during the public comment period earlier this year, the public meetings convened across New England in May and June, and through other engagement.

To help prepare for this next meeting, RPB members held conference calls for updates and coordination. Summaries of these calls are available for the June 27th, August 7th and October 4th, November 13 discussions.

Public Comment Meetings

The RPB held public comment meetings throughout New England in May and June, 2013, to discuss draft regional ocean planning goals. Ten meetings were held in in the following locations:

  • Portland, ME
  • Ellsworth, ME
  • Rockland, ME
  • Portsmouth, NH
  • Gloucester, MA
  • Boston, MA
  • New Bedford, MA
  • Barnstable, MA
  • Narragansett, RI
  • New Haven, CT

A summary of the discussions at these public meetings and written comments on the draft goals is now available: Public Comment Summary, May-July, 2013

A compilation of all the written comments submitted during the public comment period (May-July 2013) is also available: Public Comments on Draft Ocean Planning Goals

All of this input will inform the RPB’s revision of the draft regional ocean planning goals and development of specific objectives to meet these goals.

Initial Planning Products

At its April 2012 meeting, the RPB approved some initial planning products, which include:

  • Draft goals for regional ocean planning – draft goals, potential actions, and outcomes described in this document incorporate extensive stakeholder input to date. They are a starting point for upcoming public meetings where more information and feedback will be gathered.
  •  An approved RPB Charter – describes the purpose, participants, and a preliminary delineation of roles and responsibilities for RPB members and the Northeast regional ocean planning process.
  •  Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Timeline: 2012 – 1015 – provides an overview of the ocean planning initiative by identifying key activities in a three-phased approach over three years. Planning efforts are currently in Phase 1, which includes laying the foundation and the framework for ocean planning through data, information, engagement, and goal setting processes. Phase 2 and 3 will follow and stem from these initial efforts.
  •  2013 Activity Timeline – an overview of the timing of activities and key points of input through the calendar year. This timeline was part of a regional ocean planning engagement strategy discussed and approved at the April RPB meeting and contained in the meeting’s briefing packet.

April 11-12 RPB Meeting

The second Northeast RPB meeting was held on April 11-12, 2013 at the Village Inn in Narragansett, RI. Products from this meeting are now available, including the:

Inaugural RPB Meeting

The inaugural Northeast RPB meeting was held on November 19-20, 2012, in Portland, Maine. Products from this meeting are now available including the:


Betsy Nicholson, NOAA and RPB Federal Co-lead
Phone: 617-869-9148

Grover Fugate, Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council and RPB State Co-lead
Phone: 401-783-7112

Chief Richard Getchell, Aroostook Band of Micmac Indians and RPB Tribal Co-lead
Phone: 207-764-1972

Katie Lund, RPB Executive Secretary
Phone: 860-460-7120