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Maine Coastweek Cleanup

Maine Coastal Program has opened the registration for Coastweek Cleanups 2014.

Opportunity for public comment on proposed routine program changes to the Maine Coastal Program

Select state land use and environmental laws and related agency rules serve as the core laws that provide the enforceable policies of the Maine Coastal Program. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management ("OCRM") must approve changes to the Program and its enforceable policies.

The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's Bureau of Resource Information and Land Use Planning ("DACF"), which houses the Maine Coastal Program, periodically submits program changes to OCRM for its review and approval of their incorporation into the Program as enforceable policies and tools to improve program administration and implementation. DACF has submitted for OCRM’s review and approval changes and additions to the core laws that were enacted during the recently-concluded legislative session (Second Regular Session of the 126th Maine Legislature). These changes amend and supplement provisions of the Natural Resources Protection Act, Shoreland Zoning Act, and water quality, solid waste and oil spill clean-up-related laws which are included among the Maine Coastal Program's core laws. These recently enacted public laws are available on-line at: http://www.mainelegislature.org/ros/LOM/LOMDirectory.htm. The State's submission also includes 38 M.R.S. §2101, a previously enacted law which is referenced in P.L. 2013 ch. 458, sec. 1.

DACF has determined that these changes are routine program implementation and has requested that OCRM concur with this determination. Interested parties may submit comments to OCRM on whether the requested changes are routine program changes by July 1, 2014.

Comments may be sent to:
Ms. Joelle Gore
Acting Chief
NOAA Ocean Service
Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management SSMC4, 11th floor
1305 East West Highway
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Joelle.Gore@noaa.gov

For additional information, contact:
Aline Smith
Maine Coastal Program
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
Bureau of Resource Information and Land Use Planning
93 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0038
207-287-2801
Aline.Smith@maine.gov

Regional Ocean Planning Process Underway

In July 2010, President Obama issued an Executive Order establishing a National Ocean Policy. The Policy aims at improving management of the country's oceans and coasts, forging improved coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local governments, and encouraging and providing a framework for comprehensive, science-based, and regionally-focused planning regarding current and emerging uses of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes areas. Regional planning bodies are charged with developing ocean plans and related map-based information resources that may guide and inform public and private decision making on regionally-specific issues and opportunities.

The Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) is made up of state government representatives from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, federally-recognized Indian tribes, including the five such tribes in Maine, federal agencies, local government, and the New England Fisheries Management Council. Canada, through its Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the State of New York are represented by ex officio members. The commissioners of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) and Department of Marine Resources (DMR), or their designees, are Maine's representatives on the RPB. Commissioner Whitcomb has designated Maine Coastal Program Director Kathleen Leyden as his representative. Deputy Commissioner Meredith Mendelson represents DMR. The RPB's efforts build on existing regional ocean planning efforts of the Gulf of Maine Council and Northeast Regional Ocean Council.

The RPB held its first organizational meeting in April of 2012. Its work underway, the RPB recently hosted public meetings in Portland, Rockland, and Ellsworth to solicit comments on its proposed goals, which will provide the foundation for its ocean planning efforts. Overall, these goals reflect the RPB's fundamental focus on improving the quality and availability of regional-scale data on the marine environment and related uses and fostering cooperation and coordination among federal, state, local and tribal governmental agencies.

Visit the Northeast Regional Planning Body for more information on its meetings, planning process and timeline, and related topics or contact Matt Nixon (207) 287-1491 at the Maine Coastal Program.


Last updated on July 29, 2014