Marine planning

Walney windfarm. Photo: Nick ThorneWalney windfarm. Photo: Nick Thorne

The Marine Acts aim to bring in new planning systems for the seas, as well as better controls on industry at sea. Only if these powers are used in a coherent way, putting the health of the marine environment at the heart of decision-making, will they bring about a return to 'Living Seas'.

Marine Planning aims to identify all of the different activities that take place in the sea so that these can be integrated into plan policies that take into account their environmental, social and economic impacts and benefits.

Due to the complex 3D nature of the marine environment, marine plans are somewhat different to those on land. Each country is responsible for developing their own National Marine Plan as an overarching strategy for planning the wide-ranging activities in our seas. However, there is strong support for the creation of regional marine plans that can be used for detailed guidance is produced for coordinating different uses of the marine environment at a local level.

The first regional marine plan for England was developed for Eastern area, from Flamborough Head to Felixstowe, and adopted in April 2014. The Wildlife Trusts inputted into the marine planning process by ensuring environmental considerations at the heart of the plan.The second regional marine plan, for the Southern England area, has undergone consultation. 

By continuing our work with marine planning, The Wildlife Trusts’ will achieve our vision of 'Living Seas' where wildlife and habitats are recovering from past declines as our use of the seas’ resources becomes environmentally sustainable.