Public participation in decision-making about development has many benefits especially in the coastal zone and in the near-shore marine environment. This research expands the discussion of public involvement in decisions about marine resource use by examining public participation in environmental impact assessment as relevant for offshore renewable energy facilities. A review of empirical and theoretical research supports the development of a framework for further analysis. The framework consists of five main features: (1) effective communication, (2) broad-based inclusion, (3) prioritization, (4) early three-way learning, and (5) alternatives analysis. The paper's concluding sections explore the relevance of such a framework and indicate possible applications.