Marine Spatial Planning photo

Marine Spatial Planning

Supporting healthy oceans, coasts, and communities

Please check out our new marine spatial planning website at:

Marine spatial planning (MSP) is a planning process that enables integrated, forward looking, and consistent decision making on the human uses of the sea. It can improve marine resource management by planning for human uses in locations that reduce conflict, increase certainty, and allow us to balance and maximize the social, economic, and ecological benefits we receive from ocean resources.

  • In March 2010, the state legislature enacted a marine spatial planning law to address resource use conflicts in Washington waters.
  • In 2011, a report to the legislature and a workshop on human use data provided guidance for the marine spatial planning process.
  • In 2012, the Governor amended the law and the legislature provided funding for mapping, ecosystem assessment, data tools and stakeholder outreach on Washington’s Pacific Coast.
  • In 2013, the Legislature provided continued funding for the development of a Pacific Coast Marine Spatial Plan.