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Regulating the Marine Environment

Regulating the Marine Environment

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Published by: Shastaite on Dec 22, 2012
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Coastal Marine Spatial Planning and theEndangered Species Act – Two Case Studies
Paper by: Karen SchmidtRegulating the Marine EnvironmentProfessor WrothFall 2011
 
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Abstract
: This paper presents an analysis of the potential conflict between the Coastal ZoneManagement Act (and its practical implementation through Coastal Marine Spatial Planning) andthe holistic approach to ecosystem-based management espoused by the Endangered Species Act.In particular, this paper focuses on the interplay between these laws and then utilizes a fewspecific examples/locations where this conflict may arise. This paper also addresses the use of critical habitat designations under the Endangered Species Act and how the use of Marine SpatialPlanning may benefit or harm critical habitat designations, thereby requiring Endangered SpeciesAct consultation.
Front page photograph taken by Karen Schmidt in Fajardo Puerto Rico, on abeach area proposed for Endangered Species Act Critical Habitat designation.
I.
 
I
NTRODUCTION
 
Nearly half of the entire global population resides within one hundred kilometers of ashoreline.
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With global populations projects to rise to nine billion people by 2050, increasedpopulation will likely affect coastal ecosystems at a disproportionate rate. Human populationsdepend on the important ecosystem benefits derived from coastal regions, thereby presenting amajor management challenge of maintaining this delicate resource in the future in the face of increased population and development pressures. Moreover, management of coastal ecosystemsis further stressed by increased offshore energy development and increased shipping traffic.The convergence of a multitude of human pressures on the world’s coastal ecosystemsrequires important attention to the use of management tools and how local and nationalgovernment intend to use these management tools for either the preservation or exploitation thecoastal regions. In fact, the current movement towards use of spatial planning as a “joinedapproach that marries the seemingly competing interests for ocean and coastal resources andspace, such as environment, tourism, fisheries, and energy generation”
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may present theopportunity for regulatory competition between uses with certain uses given vast governmentalpriority. The present regulatory trend attempting to account for multiple anthropogenic uses of land and resources within the coastal regions is based on the use of marine spatial planning toachieve Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM). Marine spatial planning as a tool for achievingEBM has garnered much enthusiasm over the past five years, without much accounting for itsactual long-term successes and limitations. While the goals of EBM are lofty, practicallyspeaking they may be more difficult to implement. This paper analyzes the more practicalimplications of EBM as a goal and marine spatial planning as the tool for achieving this goal.Lawmakers tout the use of EBM to deal with vast coastal management problems such asoverfishing, pollution, and unplanned urban development.
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The idea is that by managing theinterior lands, coastal development, and ocean development and use in a more holistic manner,better decisions will be made for preservation of the entire ecosystem considered as a while.Specifically, lawmakers provide the following reasons when describing the need for EBM:conflicts between various uses, conflicts between the cultures of different user groups, conflictsbetween jurisdictions charged with management, fragmentation of jurisdictions, and
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Christopher Small & Robert J. Nicholls,
 A Global Analysis of Human Settlement in Coastal Zones
, 19 J. CoastalResearch 584 (2003).
2
UNEP,
Taking Steps toward Marine and Coastal Ecosystem-Based Management – An Introductory Guide
(2011)at 6.
 
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fragmentation of decision-making.
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As such, EBM is defined as “an approach that goes beyondexamining single issues, species, or ecosystem functions in isolation. Instead it recognizesecological systems for what they are: a rich mix of elements that interact with each other inimportant ways.”
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 This paper will first discuss two potential methods of coastal EBM implementation underU.S. law and regulations—the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Coastal ZoneManagement Act (CZMA). This paper will then utilize two case studies to demonstrate howthese two separate and overlapping regulatory schemes may be used to further the goals of multiple uses under EBM or, by contrast, to preserve entire ecosystems. Finally, the paperanalyzes the successes and challenges of both approaches towards furthering the goal of marinespecies protection and coastal ecosystem preservation.
II.
 
S
TATUTORY
F
RAMEWORK FOR
E
COSYSTEM
-B
ASED
M
ANAGEMENT
 
Within the context of U.S. coastal management law, two statutes present the potential forutilization of EBM principles—the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Coastal ZoneManagement Act (CZMA). This section first describes the relevant portions of these laws andunderlying regulations and how use of these laws may further the implementation of EBM.Second, this section will describe the interplay between these two statutory frameworks and howthey complement each other in a manner furthering whole ecosystem management. Anunderstanding of the interplay of these two statutes is essential for the analysis of case studiesimplementing EBM through these two regulatory schemes.
Coastal Marine Spatial Planning under the Coastal Zone Management Act as a means of achieving Ecosystem-Based Management
 On July 19, 2010, President Obama signed Executive Order 13547, establishing anational policy explicitly endorsing the use of coastal marine spatial planning as an ecosystem-based approach to managing ocean and coastal development. Specifically, the order seeks toensure:the protection, maintenance, and restoration of the health of ocean,coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources, enhance thesustainability of ocean and coastal economies, preserve ourmaritime heritage, support sustainable uses and access, provide foradaptive management to enhance our understanding of andcapacity to respond to climate change and ocean acidification, andcoordinate with our national security and foreign policy interests.
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 To achieve these goals, this Executive Order explicitly promotes the use of marine spatialplans to build on local, federal, and regional decisionmaking and ocean planning processes inorder to manage the oceans for “sustainable multiple uses across sectors.”
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Furthermore, the
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Id.
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Id. at 8.
5
Id.
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Exec. Order No. 13547 (July 19, 2010).
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Id.

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