SAMP Sets Standard for Ocean Mapping

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Malcolm Spaulding, ASA Science co-founder and Professor Emeritus, who co-led the URI team working on the SAMP

One of the jewels in Rhode Island’s marine crown is the Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan (SAMP), a ground-breaking, standard-setting and nationally lauded approach to ocean management with a focus on renewable energy. Faced with increasing pressure on ocean resources from offshore energy, aquaculture, liquefied gas, resource extraction and shipping traffic, Rhode Island officials realized they needed a way balance environmental protections with economic development in order to better manage ocean resources. “Planning for offshore wind is a better strategy than waiting for it to happen,” said ASA Science co-founder and Professor Emeritus Malcolm Spaulding, who co-led the URI team working on the SAMP. More than just a map, the resulting Ocean SAMP is a regulatory and ecosystem-based ocean management and planning tool that has been held up by both President Obama’s Ocean Policy Task Force and the Secretary of the Interior as a national model for other states to adopt. 
The two-year, $8 million project utilized a mountain of ecological, atmospheric and marine data coupled with marine spatial planning techniques to create a gridded map of the sea floor in an area that extended 30 miles off the coast of Rhode Island and encompassed a 1500-square-mile area in and around RI, in state and federal waters. The resulting SAMP provides the state with a master plan for protecting resources, promoting economic growth and designating appropriate areas in state and federal waters for siting wind farms. It is the first state to zone its offshore waters for a range of uses and activities.  Extending the study into federal waters smartly extended “federal consistency” requirements 30 miles off shore, said Grover Fugate, director of Rhode Island’s Coastal Management Resources Management Council (CMRMC), which is charged with developing and implementing SAMPS, as well as issuing permits for any activities in tidal waters.  It also may have sped up the auctioning of wind energy leases since the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management decided to adopt the state’s suggestion for the best wind energy areas in area federal waters and then  moved to set auction dates. 
Led by Fugate, the project  involved a minimum of 40-50 scientists and researchers between The University of Rhode Island (URI) and Rodger Williams University, along with contributors from other government agencies. Research conducted by URI provided most of the data, looking at everything from viewscapes, historical sites, marine mammals, plant life, sediment, ocean engineering, wind speeds, current and wave data , shipping lanes, fish distribution, wildlife and avian habitats, even areas of interest to Native American tribes.  
“Marine spatial planning has to take into account all the different aspects of the marine environment, from fisheries, to military, commercial, to marine mammals and birds. You name it, it has to be taken into consideration. Rhode Island has set the precedent, and set the standard for the rest of the world, said Prof. Dwight Coleman, a marine research scientist at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography.
One of the SAMP’s most critical contributions in the renewable energy space has less to do with mapping than time, observes Spaulding. It not only provides other states with a time-saving model, it will save developers years of costly permitting work, and potential battles, he said, thereby cutting costs and speeding up the approval process. As a cautionary tale, he pointed to Cape Wind. “They spent $35 million to $40 million and no turbines moving. They ran into a whole series of issues related to siting.” Conversely, when Deepwater applied for its siting permit in Rhode Island waters, because it based its plan on the recommendation of the SAMP, “they didn’t have to argue about ‘why that location?’ The SAMP took all that uncertainty away.”
 

 

(As published in the March 2013 edition of Marine Technologies - www.seadiscovery.com)

Maritime Reporter August 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

Maritime Academy Awarded DHS Grant for Arctic Training

Maine Maritime Academy receives $450,000 grant From U.S. Department of Homeland Security for ice navigation and maritime first responder courses for the Arctic Maine

Great Lakes Dry Cargo Residue Discharge Rule in Effect

The U.S. Coast Guard published a final rule to the Federal Register announcing that it has received approval from the Office of Management and Budget for an information

Survey Vessel Delivered to Fugro N.V.

Fugro Pioneer is the second of three vessels to be delivered to Fugro in 2014. Fugro has taken delivery of the second of the three Fugro Offshore Coastal Survey

Energy

The Switch to Deliver Full-Power Converter for Floating Power Plant

Vancouver-based Water Wall Turbine Inc. (WWT) has selected The Switch to provide a 500 kW full-power converter for its self-floating power plant. This new system

Maersk Sells Ven Drilling Barges

Danish shipping conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk said on Tuesday its offshore oil and gas drilling unit has sold its Venezuelan barge activities. Maersk Drilling

Upcoming Winter Tanker Market Same as Last Year?

Will the 2014/15 winter tanker market be a repeat of the previous one? Poten & Partners consider the question in their latest 'Poten Tanker Opinion'. As the

Marine Science

PPG Offers SIGMASHIELD 1200 Coating for Shipping

PPG Industries' protective and marine coatings business is fulfilling growing demand for "ice class" marine coatings for hull protection with SIGMASHIELD® 1200 coating.

China Merchant Boosts Efficiency of VLCCs with Jotun HP

China Merchant Energy Shipping Co., Ltd (CMES) will upgrade the antifouling solution on their VLCCs New Builds at Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd. (DSIC)

USCG Confirm Jelly Fish Concentration in Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts

Coast Guard pollution responders, and the Fairhaven Harbormaster responded to a report of a large oil sheen in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts Friday morning. At 2:00 p.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2814 sec (4 req/sec)