The marine waters along Washington’s Pacific Coast contain abundant natural resources and diverse habitats that support biological diversity and resilience of the marine ecosystem. These resources support multiple public uses that benefit the economies and cultures of nearby communities as well as the entire state. The citizens of Washington, as well as the Native American tribes that have rich histories and treaty-protected interests along the coast, strongly depend upon marine resources and will continue to do so into the future.
Potential new ocean uses such as offshore wind energy, offshore aquaculture, or other development uses could adversely affect these important ocean resources and uses. Multiple, overlapping jurisdictions and authorities create additional challenges for coordinated decision making and proactive planning.
The Marine Spatial Plan (MSP) for Washington’s Pacific Coast helps address these challenges by providing a tool to protect ocean resources and uses, to guide potential applicants as they develop proposals for new ocean uses, and to assist state agencies and others, including local, tribal, and federal governments, in evaluating and engaging in those proposals more effectively.