Since 2010, the Udall Foundation's U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (U.S. Institute) has been working to support stakeholder and tribal engagement in the implementation of an Executive Order establishing a National Ocean Policy.

In July 2010, President Obama issued an Executive Order, Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes, establishing a National Ocean Council, a Cabinet-level group of 27 federal agencies. The Order adopted the Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, and among nine priority objectives called for nationwide implementation of Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP).

CMSP involves the assessment and integration of all of the various uses of coastal and marine waters, including commercial fishing and shipping, species habitat, offshore energy development, homeland security, and recreation, among others. Each region of the United States and its territories is charged with developing a plan for harmonizing and managing these uses in the next five years and there is general appreciation that extensive stakeholder and governmental involvement will be required to create workable plans.

The U.S. Institute received a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to develop principles for stakeholder engagement in CMSP, provide mechanisms for engaging tribal entities in CMSP processes, and support the planning and facilitation for regional and national workshops on CMSP. The principles are available at http://www.ecr.gov/pdf/StakeholderPrinciplesCMSP.pdf.

Suzanne Orenstein, director of the Udall Foundation's Washington, D.C., office, has been managing the CMSP team of U.S. Institute staff and working with multiple federal agencies on CMSP issues. Orenstein notes that, "Development in the oceans is an evolving and pressing environmental management issue. Offshore wind farms proposed for several East Coast locations are the subject of several EIS processes and other environmental reviews. Integrating new ocean uses with conservation and existing uses is a challenging task, and the scale at which the planning occurs is extensive. Environmental collaboration and conflict resolution involving the full range of stakeholders and decision makers are essential in these complex planning situations."

The U.S. Institute has assisted the 27 federal agencies involved with the National Ocean Council by receiving and combining multi-agency, government funding to support various stakeholder involvement efforts. In June 2011, the U.S. Institute supported a National Workshop on CMSP, which was held in Washington, D.C., and involved over 450 participants. The workshop engaged and educated a full range of governmental entities, including Indian tribes, on proposed regional ocean governance mechanisms and stakeholder involvement opportunities. Institute staff provided consultation and facilitation support for the workshop, along with Institute contractors from the Meridian Institute. In 2012, the U.S. Institute will continue to assist with stakeholder and tribal engagement for regional workshops in the nine regions established by the National Ocean Policy, starting with the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, West Coast, and Pacific Islands.

U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution
Project lead for the Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning Project

Suzanne Orenstein is managing the U.S. Institute efforts on Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning. She is the Director of the Washington, D.C., office of the Udall Foundation and the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution. Orenstein's responsibilities as Director of the D.C. Office include representing the Udall Foundation and the U.S. Institute in their many interactions with federal agencies based in D.C. She provides consultation on potential ECR processes and provides an expeditious link to the U.S. Institute staff and its roster of ECR professionals. She also directs and participates in environmental conflict resolution processes and training programs.

Suzanne Orenstein, Director
Udall Foundation Washington, D.C., Office
(202) 540-1040